NLRB General Counsel Abruzzo Announces New Protocol Designed To Increase Immigrant Worker Protections
This week, in a memorandum addressed to all Regional Directors, Officers-in-Charge, and Resident Officers, the Board’s Office of the General Counsel announced a new protocol designed to advance immigrant worker protections to freely exercise their NLRA rights and safely participate in Board investigations.
Under it, regions must distribute a fact sheet (available in English and Spanish) to all witnesses, advising them that:
immigration status is irrelevant to whether there has been an NLRA violation;
information obtained during NLRB investigations is protected; and
a charging party or witness may ask the NLRB to seek immigration relief for employees at a worksite if necessary to protect employees who are participating in NLRB processes or exercising their NLRA rights.
Also, Board agents will orally advise witnesses, before taking their testimony in an affidavit, that an individual’s immigration or work authorization status is irrelevant to the Board’s investigation and that the NLRB will not inquire about the individual’s immigration or work authorization status. Likewise, Information Officers who help visitors or callers to prepare a draft charge for the individual to review and file will provide a copy of the fact sheet along with the draft of the charge.
The new protocol advances one of General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo’s top priorities.
All too often, immigrant workers are subject to unlawful intimidation tactics that seek to silence them, denigrate their right to act together to seek improved wages and working conditions, and thwart their willingness to report statutory violations. The NLRB will do everything we can to protect immigrant workers to exercise their rights under the NLRA and to pursue any interference with those rights by participating in the NLRB’s processes.
And, the protocol is part of General Counsel Abruzzo’s initiative, announced in November 2022, that contains case handling procedures and other efforts to ensure that immigrant workers can freely exercise their rights under the NLRA and have effective remedies for any NLRA violations.