For decades, National Labor Relations Board Regional offices have displayed in their waiting areas looseleaf notebooks containing all of the ULP charges and election petitions filed in that Regional office. The NLRB prided itself on openly displaying all such public filings. Until now.
NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin has just issued General Counsel Memorandum 15-07, in which he unilaterally orders that Regions should "no longer make Agency documents available to the public, such as by maintaining charges and petitions in binders available for viewing in Regional offices." https://www.nlrb.gov/reports-guidance/general-counsel-memos (8/12/15). Morevoer, Mr. Griffin is ordering that when an individual employee files a ULP charge or election petition to initiate adversary litigation against his or her union representative or employer, the employee's indentifying information must be redacted before a copy of the charge or petition can be given out under FOIA. Mr. Griffin cites "personal privacy" as the reason for such redactions. Yet the NLRB's "ambush" election rules (Representation – Case Procedures; Final Rule, 79 Fed. Reg. 74308 (Dec. 15, 2014)) require that employees' personal information (home addresses, personal email addresses, personal cell phone numbers, etc.) be turned over to union organizers, with no real checks on the unions' use of that information, and no right to opt out of this mandatory disclosure regime. When it comes to union organizing, the NLRB dismisses any notion of employee privacy. But if any other entity, such as a media company or public interest litigation organization, wishes to contact the employee about his or her pending case, or even to offer free legal assistance, they received no information from Mr. Griffin's NLRB. So much for the most "open and transparent administration in history."