The Developing Labor Law: The Board, the Courts, and the National Labor Relations Act, Sixth Edition

Special ABA Section member price


Main Volume Information

The ultimate desktop reference for labor and employment law practitioners

“The Developing Labor Law is the most comprehensive resource in the field—I have been using it ever since it first came out. The Sixth Edition offers the latest analysis, and I would recommend it to anyone working in our field.”

—Gordon E. Krischer, Of Counsel, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Los Angeles, CA 

A Cumulative Supplement to this volume is now available. Order Now.

For more than 40 years, practitioners have relied on The Developing Labor Law: The Board, the Courts, and the National Labor Relations Act to keep them current on U.S. labor law. This two-volume treatise, written by distinguished members of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law representing management, labor, and neutrals, is the essential research tool for labor and employment law practitioners. It provides an authoritative, balanced perspective on the legal rights and duties of employees, employers, and unions and on procedures and remedies under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). 

For the specialist, this classic reference is a quick means of accessing leading cases; for the generalist, it provides an excellent summary of the law and its development. All labor and employment law practitioners will benefit from the history of the development of every major labor law doctrine that this distinctive reference work provides-from contract bar to deferral to arbitration and all that lies in between, including prohibited secondary activity. The Sixth Edition includes updated discussion of a number of important topics, including: 

  • Employer-mandated confidentiality agreements
  • Employee handbook restrictions on solicitations
  • Definition of a supervisor
  • Definition of an independent contractor
  • The disagreement between the Board and the Ninth Circuit concerning the right of an employer to unilaterally discontinue union dues checkoff after a contract expires
  • Obligation of an employer to provide financial information requested by the union during bargaining
  • Legitimacy of union use of inflated rat balloons and banners to advertise labor disputes
  • Rights of employees to object to payment of full union dues under a union shop agreement
  • Obligation of an employee who is unlawfully discharged under the NLRA to seek interim employment
  • Definition of a “salt” 

Several important decisions altering Board precedents have been handed down since the Fifth Edition that will affect labor law practitioners. New cases discussed in the Sixth Edition concern such topics as: 

  • Employer restrictions on the use of company email to discuss union activity
  • New standards for determining the unit in which an election should be held when unions are seeking smaller units than employers
  • Whether voluntary recognition bars the filing of an election petition
  • Whether union bannering amounts to picketing in violation of the secondary boycott and recognitional picketing provisions of the NLRA
  • The requirement by unions that employees notify them annually of their objections to paying union dues in excess of the cost of representing the unit
  • The standards for determining whether an employer's refusal to hire a  “salt” is unlawful
  • Qualification of an “at will” employee as a permanent strike replacement
  • Assessment of supervisory status
  • Board jurisdiction over operators of charter schools 

Supplement Information

The Sixth Edition was published in 2012 and much has happened since. Significantly, the Supreme Court's decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning has voided much of the work of the "recess Board" in 2012 and 2013. Nonetheless this Supplement reports the decisions of the "recess Board" because of their importance to the development of the law and their implications for what the now fully confirmed NLRB will be deciding in the next year. The Supplement also includes a discussion of the Noel Canning decision and its implications.

As clients seek labor law advice, it is essential that counsel be alert, not only to current Board law but also as to what may be expected from the Board in the future. The question is whether the past will be prologue? How will the work of the "recess Board" affect the development of the law? The 2014 Cumulative Supplement will help to answer these questions on issues such as access to employer property right; the line between valid and invalid work rules because they "reasonably tend to chill the exercise of Section 7 activity"; the effect of social media on Section 7 rights; limitations on employee discussions of ongoing employer investigations of employee misconduct; the status of Board policy with respect to deferral to arbitration; whether an employer has a duty to supply the union with witness statements; the duty of an employer to provide notice and an opportunity to bargain concerning employee discipline before the parties have negotiated their first collective bargaining agreement; and developments under Specialty Healthcare rejecting employer challenges to a classification that has been excluded from an otherwise appropriate unit unless there is a showing of "an overwhelming community of interest with those in the petitioned for unit."



Main Volume Information

2012/2 Volumes/3,582 pp. Hardcover/ABAWEB1778

Supplement Information  

2014/644 pp. Softcover/ABAWEB2459


About the Editor-in-Chief
John E. Higgins, Jr.
is an adjunct faculty member at the Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and is retired from the NLRB.

Committee on Development of the Law Under the National Labor Relations Act, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law 

Supplement Information

About the Co-Editors-in-Chief

Tanja L. Thompson  is a shareholder in the Labor Management Relations practice group with Littler Mendelson, Memphis, Tenn.

Gwynne A. Wilcox is a partner with Levy Ratner, New York, N.Y., representing unions before the National Labor Relations Board and other administrative agencies, and in arbitrations, litigation and contract negotiations.

Barry J. Kearney  is the associate general counsel of the Division of Advice at the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

Committee on Development of the Law Under the National Labor Relations Act, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law