November 26, 2022

Volume XII, Number 330

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BREAKING: Senate Committee Proposes Bill to Add Civil Penalties to NLRA

As we have discussed previously (herehere, here and here), Congressional Democrats have been attempting to amend the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) for the last few years.  However, attempts to invoke sweeping changes to a number of areas of the NLRA through the Protect the Right to Organize Act (“PRO Act”) have stalled in Congress.

The most recent proposed amendment to the NLRA as part of the Build Back Better Act (“BBB Act”) would impose civil penalties on an employer who commits an unfair labor practice, including potential individual liability to officers or directors.  The proposed fines in the BBB Act are up to $50,000 per violation, or up to $100,000, for willful violators or if there is “serious economic harm” to an employee. This would represent a dramatic change to the enforcement of the NLRA, as historically, the NLRA’s remedy for employer unfair labor practices has been to compensate the aggrieved party with money (e.g., backpay) and/or by equitable means (e.g., reinstatement of a bargaining unit member who was improperly terminated).

As we discussed here, the House passed the BBB Act on November 19, 2021.  While the BBB Act still faces significant hurdles in the Senate, on December 11, 2021, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved text of the BBB Act containing the same NLRA civil-penalties language that was contained in the House bill.

A version of the BBB Act–which includes a number of other tax and spending measures having nothing to do with the NLRA–is expected to go to a vote before the entire Senate in the coming weeks.

We will be sure to keep you updated with developments.

© 2022 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 347
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About this Author

Joshua Fox Labor & Employment Attorney Proskauer Rose
Associate

Joshua Fox is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Labor-Management Relations Group. He represents a diverse range of clients, including professional sports leagues and teams, hotels, hospitals, and pipe line contractors, among many others, in collective bargaining, administration of their collective bargaining agreements, arbitrations and matters before the National Labor Relations Board.

In particular, Josh has extensive experience representing professional sports leagues, including Major League...

212.969.3507
Timothy Kelly Labor Lawyer Proskauer Rose Law Firm
Associate

Tim Kelly is an associate in the Labor Department, where he focuses on workplace discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination litigation, as well as traditional labor disputes and collective bargaining negotiations. He has worked on matters before the Second Circuit, various district and state courts, and several arbitral bodies including FINRA, and has helped clients navigate and defend against investigations by the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He also frequently counsels clients on drafting arbitration agreements. ...

212.969.3446
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