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Board Invites Briefs Regarding NLRA Protection for Profane or Offensive Statements

WASHINGTON, DC—The National Labor Relations Board requests briefing on whether the Board should reconsider its standards for profane outbursts and offensive statements of a racial or sexual nature. In a notice issued today, the Board seeks public input on whether to adhere to, modify, or overrule the standard applied in previous cases in which extremely profane or racially offensive language was judged not to lose the protection of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Specifically, the notice seeks comments relating to the following cases: Plaza Auto Center, 360 NLRB 972 (2014), Pier Sixty, LLC, 362 NLRB 505 (2015), and Cooper Tire, 363 NLRB No. 194 (2016). 

About the invitation for briefing, Chairman John F. Ring stated: “The Board’s request for briefing on this important topic reflects its long-standing practice of seeking input from interested parties when the Board believes it can benefit from such briefing. We look forward to considering the views of all interested parties.” 

Chairman John F. Ring was joined by Members Marvin E. Kaplan and William J. Emanuel in inviting the filing of briefs. Member Lauren McFerran dissented.

Amicus briefs not to exceed 25 pages in length shall be filed with the Board in Washington, D.C. on or before November 4, 2019. The parties are permitted to file responsive briefs not to exceed 15 pages in length on or before November 19, 2019.

The case is General Motors LLC, 14-CA-197985 and 14-CA-208242. Click here to read the notice and invitation to file briefs.

Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employees and employers from unfair labor practices and protects the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB conducts hundreds of workplace elections and investigates thousands of unfair labor practice charges each year.

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