The National Labor Relations Board released case processing data for FY 2023. The data shows that between October 1, 2022 and September 20, 2023, 22,448 cases were filed–a 10% increase over the previous fiscal year. 2023 also saw the highest number of cases filed since 2016.
The increase in filings was spread across both unfair labor practice (ULP) charges and union representation-related activity. Both categories of cases have seen significant increases over the last two years. The number of ULPs has increased by 29% from 2021 through 2023, while the number of union representation petitions increased by 53% during the same time period.
This marked increase in NLRB filings comes at the same time that the NLRB issued its decision in CEMEX Construction Materials Pacific LLC, which expands the scope under which unions can form at workplaces. The Cemex decision requires employers to recognize a new union or promptly file for an election when the union asks for recognition based on a majority of workers showing support. Since the Cemex decision was issued last August, 28 petitions for union elections have been filed by employers.
Predictably, the NLRB claims that it is understaffed with the increase in cases. It is now asking for additional funding after receiving a $25 million budget increase in 2023. Employers can expect a significant increase in NLRB activity for the foreseeable future.