The National Labor Relations Board is considering a revision to its backpay scheme for unlawful terminations stemming from a case involving Colorado’s largest employer.

The NLRB announced February 19 that is was seeking amicus briefs to address how the board should treat search-for-work expenses for prevailing plaintiffs. Their invitation to file briefs originated from the case of King Soopers and a former store employee, Wendy Geaslin, which is currently under review. Last October, and administrative law judge determined the supermarket chain’s interrogation and subsequent termination of Ms. Geaslin violated the National Labor Relations Act and awarded her with reinstatement and backpay.

Reasonable job search expenses, which can include travel, resume preparation, and certain placement agency fees, can total hundreds or even thousands of dollars, said Steve Suflas, who has represented employers before the NLRB. “This is significant more for what it represents than what it does,” he said.

On the same day the NLRB issued its invitation for briefs on the proposed back-pay rule change, the board also announced it was seeking briefs on ALJ consent orders.

Mr. Suflas said that taken together, the NLRB’s reassessment of its back pay and procedural policies are indicators of its current administration’s aggressive stance. “These are two niche issues, but the idea that they’re coming up at all again questions the credibility of an agency that is changing things all the time,” Mr. Suflas said.

Related Practice