Public Control of Labor Relations: A Study of the National Labor Relations Board

By D. O. Bowman | Go to book overview

Chapter V. REMEDIES FOR UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES

A. General

Section 10(c) of the Act empowers the Board order. In event the Board is "of the opinion that any person named in the complaint has engaged in or is engaging in any such unfair labor practice, then the Board shall state its findings of fact and shall issue and cause to be served on such person an order requiring such person to cease and desist from such unfair labor practice, and to take such affirmative action, including reinstatement of employees with or without back pay, as will effectuate the policies of this Act."1 Thus, a violation under this provision makes mandatory the issuance of a cease and desist order; and it also permits the Board to make additional requirement of an affirmative nature, such as reinstatement with back pay. The power of the Board to issue orders is, therefore, somewhat comparable to that of an equity court, where relief is ordered to fit the particular case at hand. The action ordered by the Board, however, is circumscribed by a phrase which limits the Board to orders such as "will effectuate the policies" of the Act; that is, to protect the right of self-organization and collective bargaining. Thus, the action of the Board in ordering relief is always based upon the particular case; and the approach is always that the Act is to enforce public, not private, rights. The relief is to remedy a violation of a public statute so that any benefit accruing to the individual is incidental.

Nor does the reinstatement and back-pay statement operate as a qualification upon the power of the Board in ordering affirmative action if that action effectuates the policy. The House Committee report contemplated that reinstatement with back pay was not exclusive when it stated:

____________________
1
See Appendix I, Section 10(c).

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