Conspiracy of Interests

Last week the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Regional Director, Peter Sung Ohr, communicated through an announcement published by the NLRB that the Chicago regional office has agreed with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations and the Illinois Department of Labor to refer information collected by the NLRB in connection with cases it is investigating. In essence, this means that the three agencies will be a clearinghouse for each other as they continue to harass employers with alleged violations of the various laws for which the three agencies are responsible.

The NLRB’s announcement says in part:

“Each Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) provides that, during interviewing or case processing, if one agency determines that the alleged conduct falls within the jurisdiction of the other agency, the former agency will, with the individual’s consent, refer the charge to that other agency. The MOU also provides for cross-training between agencies for procedures related to sharing information between agencies where appropriate.”

“The NLRB is an independent federal agency (emphasis added) that guarantees the right of most private sector employees to engage in group efforts to improve their wages and working conditions and in collective bargaining, and to refrain from any of these activities.”

Obviously, Regional Director Ohr has a different definition of independent than what would be generally accepted. Perhaps the word should be replaced with interdependent.

Actions like this bring into question the putative notion that the NLRB abides by its singular mission as stated in the paragraph above.

While the motive of Mr. Ohr’s action is difficult to discern, this clearly misguided initiative should not surprise any employer who is familiar with his behavior. After all, he is the same Regional Director that issued the decision allowing the Northwestern football players to unionize … a decision that is now being reviewed by the NLRB in Washington.

If you have questions or are seeking an experienced team of labor relations consultants, please contact us today.

Best regards,

William R. Adams, Ph.D.

President and CEO

Adams, Nash, Haskell & Sheridan