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NLRB General Counsel Issues Memo on New 10(j) Injunction Casehandling Instructions to Increase Voluntary Settlements and Streamline Processes

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Today, NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memorandum to all field offices announcing measures to improve the Agency’s effectiveness in securing relief under Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act.

The General Counsel lays out measures that the Agency will take to better focus resources: Regions will now seek to settle the Section 10(j) aspect of cases warranting interim relief when efforts to settle the administrative case are unsuccessful. Charged parties will be given the opportunity to voluntarily agree to an interim agreement that includes remedies, such as reinstating alleged discriminatees or agreeing to bargain, pending final resolution of the administrative case by the Board. If the parties do not reach a settlement on interim relief, if it would be futile to seek such a settlement, or if a party agrees to such a settlement but violates its terms, the Region may take all appropriate actions, including seeking authorization to petition for injunctive relief in federal district court. In those instances, the Regions and the Injunction Litigation Branch will utilize streamlined 10(j) authorization procedures to facilitate more efficient processing and a more effective process for obtaining relief as quickly as possible.

“Section 10(j) is one of the most important tools available to effectively enforce the Act. It is my hope that this initiative will result in an increase in voluntary agreements to obtain crucial interim remedies, will reduce the need for district court litigation, and will conserve the resources of the Agency and all parties,” said General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo.

Today’s memo builds on previous memos that address the importance of injunctive relief. In February, the General Counsel announced an initiative to seek injunctions in certain cases where workers have been subject to threats or other coercive conduct during an organizing campaign. Last August, the General Counsel released a memorandum underscoring the importance of 10(j) injunction proceedings and affirming the Agency’s priority in continuing efforts to obtain immediate relief in cases that present a significant risk of remedial failure.

Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employees 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.