Today, the NAM filed comments with the NLRB responding to the Board’s request to gather opinions on altering the way employees can challenge union dues’ expenditures. As you will recall, employees have every right to do according the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Beck case. Last week’s blog about this case, Kent Hospital, referenced a “sneak attack” by the Board in making this change. Reason being, the NLRB rarely asks for public comments prior to issuing a final decision in a case, so one has to wonder, why would they now?
The NLRB is not shy to overturn decades of precedent, change policy, or issue new rules, so it is likely they are going through this exercise simply to check the box that they took the public’s views into consideration – even though it is likely the three members have already made up their minds to create a presumption that unions are spending dues appropriately and not for political purposes. Why would the union ever be wrong and why should an employee dare to question the union on its expenditures?
The fact of the matter is what the Board will be doing is making it more difficult, perhaps impossible, for employees to call a union into question. Through this change, the Board will assure a union’s First Amendment right is more important than an employee, who has differing political views. Our comments strongly oppose the Board’s proposal. Employers and employees would well-advised to prepare for more of these “sneak attacks.”