Washington, DC — The National Labor Relations Board today announced that it will undertake a comprehensive review of its policies and procedures governing ethics and recusal requirements for Board Members. This initiative will ensure that the NLRB’s stakeholders—and the American people generally—can have full confidence in the integrity of the Board and its recusal processes.
“Recent events have raised questions about when Board Members are to be recused from particular cases and the appropriate process for securing such recusals,” said NLRB Chairman John F. Ring. “We are going to look at how recusal determinations are made to ensure not only that we uphold the Board’s strong ethical culture, but also to ensure each Board Member’s right to participate in cases is protected in the future. Those who rely on us to decide labor matters need to know their cases will be decided under proper procedures that ensure an appropriate Board majority.”
Chairman Ring has proposed for Board consideration a review, to be conducted expeditiously, that would examine every aspect of the Board’s current recusal practices in light of the statutory, regulatory, and presidential requirements governing those practices. Among other things, the Board would review and evaluate all existing procedures for determining when recusals are required, as well as the roles and responsibilities of Agency personnel in connection with making such determinations. To more fully inform its review, the Board would seek outside guidance, including gathering information regarding the recusal practices of other independent agencies with adjudicatory functions. Under the Chairman’s proposal, the review would culminate with the issuance of a report that sets forth the Board’s findings and establishes clear procedures to ensure compliance with all ethical and recusal obligations.
Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employers and employees from unfair labor practices, and protects the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB conducts hundreds of workplace elections and investigates thousands of unfair labor practice charges each year.