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NLRB General Counsel Issues 10(j) Warning Notice

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Sparing no time since she issued her Advice Memorandum last week, NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued Memorandum GC 21-05, outlining her position on the importance of 10(j) injunction proceedings.

Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act authorizes the National Labor Relations Board to seek temporary injunctions in federal district courts to stop alleged unfair labor practices (including maintaining the “status quo”) while the case is being litigated before the NLRB. While 10(j) injunctions have long been understood to be a powerful tool at the General Counsel’s disposal, how often they are used has generally been dependent on the political party in power. While the General Counsel must seek authorization from the Board prior to proceeding to court to obtain a 10(j) injunction, Memorandum GC 21-05 certainly suggests the Board appears poised to utilize 10(j) injunctions more than the prior administration.

General Counsel Abruzzo’s memorandum makes clear that she will not shy away from using 10(j) injunctions to “timely protect employees’ Section 7 rights.” General Counsel Abruzzo firmly believes 10(j) injunctions have led to positive results in ensuring the protection of employees’ rights. As such, she intends “to aggressively seek Section 10(j) relief where necessary to preserve the status quo and the efficacy of final Board orders.”

Employers should take notice of the General Counsel’s warning, and should not be surprised if more Board investigators mention 10(j) injunctions early in unfair labor practice investigations. Employers should also think critically about charges and allegations that may raise 10(j) concerns at the Board, and work swiftly to ensure their position does not warrant court involvement.

If you have any questions regarding the General Counsel’s memorandum, 10(j) injunctions, or issues related to labor and employment law, feel free to contact an attorney in Frantz Ward’s Labor & Employment Practice Group.

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