Challenging the NLRB

Tracking Attacks on the NLRB

Benjamin Sachs

Benjamin Sachs is the Kestnbaum Professor of Labor and Industry at Harvard Law School and a leading expert in the field of labor law and labor relations. He is also faculty director of the Center for Labor and a Just Economy. Professor Sachs teaches courses in labor law, employment law, and law and social change, and his writing focuses on union organizing and unions in American politics. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 2008, Professor Sachs was the Joseph Goldstein Fellow at Yale Law School.  From 2002-2006, he served as Assistant General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Washington, D.C.  Professor Sachs graduated from Yale Law School in 1998, and served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. His writing has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the New York Times and elsewhere.  Professor Sachs received the Yale Law School teaching award in 2007 and in 2013 received the Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence at Harvard Law School.  He can be reached at [email protected].

With worker organizing and collective action on the rise—and garnering greater and greater popular support—employers are deploying a new(ish) response: attacking the constitutionality of the National Labor Relations Board and thus the nation’s system of labor law. These attacks come from a range of prominent employers (to date: SpaceX, Trader Joe’s, and Amazon) and are multi-pronged (to date: that Board members and ALJs are impermissibly shielded from Presidential removal, that Board adjudications violate the VII Amendment right to jury trial, that the Board is a separation-of-powers violation, and that it presents a major-questions-doctrine or non-delegation problem). Although the claims may have seemed outlandish a handful of years ago, the current Supreme Court’s hostility to the administrative state requires that we take them seriously. In that spirit, we are launching a new OnLabor series, Tracking Attacks on the NLRB, that John Fry will author. All of our coverage of the subject will also be available through the Featured Coverage section of the blog.

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