Ben Sachs Outlines NLRB Solution to “Ossified” Labor Law System

Ben Sachs (’99), Professor of Labor and Industry at Harvard Law School, contributed an article to OnLabor asserting the National Labor Relations Board’s §14(c) authority to allow states to legislate in areas of union organizing and labor-management relations (“Unpreemption: The NLRB’s Untapped Power to Authorize State Experimentation,” Jan. 11). “[T]here is another, as yet untapped, mechanism for relaxing preemption rules and enabling states to improve upon the federal system. That mechanism is hiding in plain sight in an obscure section of the federal statute. §14(c), enacted by Congress as part of the 1959 amendments to the NLRA, gives the National Labor Relations Board the authority to cede jurisdiction to states in a wide range of cases. . . . Given the dysfunctional state of the federal regime, it seems high time for the Board to exercise this power.”