Jun 20, 2011 - 10:17am

A Weekend to Forget for NLRB’s Lafe Solomon

Senior Vice President, Employment Policy Division
It’s been a rough couple of days for Lafe Solomon, the acting General Counsel at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  First he was compelled to appear at a Oversight and Government Reform hearing on his complaint against Boeing that he had sought to avoidThen at the hearing he made the stunning admission that his 8(a)(3) charge against Boeing is, apparently, devoid of any substance.  According to Bloomberg, when asked if he could identify a single worker in Washington state who has lost a job or benefits because of Boeing’s decision to open a new production facility in South Carolina, Solomon has to respond that he couldn’t provide any evidence that this has occurred. 
The final blow came on Sunday when the Washington Post wrote a stinging editorial that once again exposed the absurdity of Solomon’s complaint.  In discussing his theory that Boeing “retaliated” against workers in Washington state, the Post wrote:
“The law forbids employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees for lawful union activity.  To prevail, an aggrieved party typically must show that the retaliation resulted in demotions, dismissals, wage reductions or other punitive measures. In Boeing’s case, these reprisals are absent[.]”
Bad enough.  But the Post concludes:
“[T]he NLRB’s move goes too far and would undermine a company’s ability to consider all legitimate factors — including potential work disruptions — when making plans. It also substitutes the government’s judgment for that of the company. This is neither good law nor good business.”
Solomon has been very busy over the past year attempting to pump up the importance of the law he is supposed to impartially administer.  But as any objective observer now recognizes, this has simply gone too far.  To avoid further embarrassment — and potentially harm — to the agency and law he serves it’s time for Solomon to drop this complaint. 
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About the Author

Glenn Spencer Headshot
Senior Vice President, Employment Policy Division

Glenn Spencer is senior vice president of the Employment Policy division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.