The National Labor Relations Board is witnessing a surge in requests for services, the agency announced Friday.
In fiscal year 2023 — Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2023 — the agency saw 22,448 cases filed. That’s an increase of 10% over the prior fiscal year and the highest number of cases filed since fiscal year 2016.
The NLRB saw increases in both unfair labor practice charges and union representation-related activities. Unfair labor practices charges rose from 17,988 in FY 2022 to 19,854 in FY 2023. During the same time frame, 2,594 union representation petitions were filed, representing a 3% increase over FY 2022.
“Dedicated NLRB employees have continued working hard to increase the board’s productivity, but the continuing surge in case intake has again increased our year-end backlog,” NLRB Chairman Lauren McFerran said in a statement.
The increase in fillings lowered the median age of cases pending before the NLRB just a tad, from 108 days in FY 2022 to 106 days in FY 2023.
“Although the agency tremendously appreciated the $25 million increase in funding for FY 2023, and used every extra dollar to address critical staffing vacancies and infrastructure needs, additional resources are necessary to enable the board to expand staffing capacity and continue processing cases more efficiently,” McFerran added.
The increase in filings in the agency’s field offices resulted in a corresponding increase in workload for the adjudicative side of the agency. The board issued 246 decisions in contested cases during FY 2023, slightly more than the 243 decisions handed down in FY 2022.
“Our committed and talented NLRB career employees continue to process cases with professionalism and care,” General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo said. “The President’s budget requests $376 million for the agency, which is much needed to effectively and efficiently comply with our congressional mandate when providing quality service promptly to the public in conducting hearings and elections, investigating charges, settling and litigating meritorious cases, and obtaining full and prompt remedies for workers whose rights are violated.”