Update on a Union Appeal of a National Labor Relations Board Decision
RE: RID’s Anti-Trust and Civility Policies
As a professional association, RID must take steps to avoid even the appearance of potential collusion among members to set interpreter industry wages and other matters. To that end, RID disseminates and enforces an anti-trust policy that limits certain topics of conversation that could implicate anti-trust concerns among RID members in RID forums. RID members certainly may discuss such issues in the many other non-RID forums that exist, but they may not subject RID to the potential risk that comes from discussing such matters on RID forums.
RID takes no position on whether its members elect to be represented or not represented by unions in their respective places of employment. That is a decision for each person in each workplace to make. RID has members who are unionized and those who are not. In 2015, however, a union apparently seeking to unionize the employer of at least a few members sought to coerce RID into accepting the union’s speech as its own and, in the process, putting RID at increased risk of anti-trust concerns. Accordingly, RID enforced its anti-trust policy.
In response, the union filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB”), the federal agency tasked with administering the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”). The NLRB initially dismissed all of the union’s claims. RID believes that the NLRB’s initial decision was correct and that RID’s policies, including its anti-trust policy, are proper and properly applied to its members.
Despite the NLRB’s original decision, an appeals division within the agency revived one claim concerning the anti-trust policy and member forum’s civility language. An administrative law judge recently issued a recommendation and finding that he believed the policy and language were improper. RID respectfully disagrees and continues to believe that both comply with the Act.
Importantly, the administrative law judge’s recommendation is not the ultimate agency decision. RID intends to provide the ultimate group who will decide for the NLRB the reasons it believes the policy and language are proper. RID is confident that the agency ultimately will come to the same conclusion.
We will keep you updated as this agency process progresses. In the meantime, RID’s anti-trust policy remains in effect and will be enforced accordingly.
The actual judge’s decision is here: (link)