The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will work together in a new collaborative relationship to combat unfair labor practices. The new partnership was established on July 8, 2013 when the Department of Justice issued a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two offices to allow both agencies to share information, refer matters to each other and coordinate investigations as appropriate. The OSC manages the Immigration Nationality Act (ICA) which prevents discrimination based on national origin or citizenship status when an employee is hired or fired. The NLRB manages the enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which oversees employee rights to unionize of de-unionize to increase wages and improve working conditions. Case referrals will occur between the offices when the NLRB comes across a case involving anti-discrimination (e.g., during the verification of employment authorization in the I-9 or E-Verify process), or when the OSC comes across a case involving labor organization. In addition, the MOU will provide training to ensure that staff from both agencies make appropriate referrals. Joint cooperation and sharing of information should strengthen government enforcement actions when it comes to matters of unfair labor practices and labor discrimination.
By Lucy Chadis