Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The NLRB does not troll for cases, but…

During my NPR appearance from a couple of weeks ago, NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon made an interesting comment about his agency: “We don’t solicit business. We only deal with charges that are filed in our regional offices around the country.”

Here’s the whole clip [1:13], which includes my response:

I take issue with Lafe’s statement that the agency doesn’t “solicit business.” Yes, the agency doesn’t do things like set up tables in public spaces looking for individuals to file charges (it leaves that tactic to the EEOC). There are, however, lots of types of solicitation. Under Lafe’s reign as its general counsel, the NLRB has aggressively issued press releases announcing myriad cases dealing with social media. He published an entire report on the issue. He’s been quoted in the New York Times and has been doing the media circuit (like our NPR appearance). All of that publicity sends a very strong message to employees that the NLRB is their recourse if they are fired for something they write on a social media website. If that isn’t “soliciting” business, I don’t know what is.