Labor law violations on the rise nationally, NLRB says


The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is continuing to see an increase in unfair labor practice charges. Unfair labor practices are (mostly employer) violations of the law that protects private sector workers union rights. The agency received almost 1,325 more unfair labor practice charges between October 2022 and March 2023 than in the same six-month period the previous year. That’s a 16% increase — and continues a significant caseload increase in the previous fiscal year 2022. 

The NLRB also had 1,200 election cases in the last six months, up about 25 cases over the year prior.  

The increase in agency workload comes at a time when the NLRB is beleaguered with low funding and short staffing. For 20 years, the NLRB’s budget was frozen at $275 million, causing the agency to lose purchasing power and shrink by 400 field staff.  In December, Congress increased the NLRB budget by $25 million, which helped end a hiring freeze, backfill some vacant positions, and prevent furloughs. 

But it still left significant gaps, especially as unfair labor practice charges continue to stream in at a high rate. The agency’s Portland office, for example, has just eight staff members to cover Oregon and Southwest Washington. 

President Joe Biden has asked for $375 million for the NLRB in his latest budget request.  

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