Kent Y. Hirozawa’s term as a National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) member expired on August 27, 2016, leaving the Board with three members (the minimum number needed for a quorum). Hirozawa originally was sworn in as an appointee of President Barack Obama on August 5, 2013. Widely viewed as a “pro-labor” Board member, he participated in numerous Board decisions / actions during his three years that pose profound implications for employers. To wit:
- He participated in passing the Board’s union election rule changes that took effect in April 2015 and have drastically reduced the time employers have to coordinate and implement union-free campaigns.
- He rendered countless decisions against non-union and union companies alike for maintaining personnel policies that were determined to have violated Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, including social media policies and “confidential information” policies.
- He participated in two separate decisions that significantly impact companies using contingent workforces – one decision greatly expanded the Board’s definition of “joint-employers” for purposes of liability and collective bargaining, while the other allows both temporary and regular employees of a company to be included in the same bargaining unit even in the absence of consent by both a staffing company and the end user.
- He participated in the blockbuster decision issued a few weeks ago that allows student assistants at private universities to form unions.