The Competitive Enterprise Institute today sent a letter to the National Labor Relations Board inspector general asking him to investigate allegations that board member Mark Gaston Pearce improperly disclosed internal board deliberations this year.
During an American Bar Association meeting, Pearce reportedly provided advance notice of the Board’s decision to issue an order to vacate its decision in a controversial case concerning joint employer liability. Board rules and regulations prohibit such public disclosure of internal deliberations, because leaks undermine the integrity of those deliberations.
CEI labor policy analyst Trey Kovacs suggested there may be a double-standard on which political appointees warrant an investigation by the Inspector General.
“There appears to be a troublesome double-standard at the NLRB,” said Kovacs. “The NLRB Inspector General Office has shown zeal for investigating Republican NLRB members but not Democratic members.
“The NLRB Inspector General has been expanding conflict of interest standards far enough to obstruct the Trump NLRB from functioning, yet the investigative office has not examined whether Democratic member Mark Pearce improperly disclosed confidential material about an important case,” Kovacs explained. “We hope by calling this problem to the attention of the Inspector General, it might spur the office to investigate potential violations.”
Tellingly, the current NLRB Inspector General has already determined (in a past investigation) that information regarding the status of a case is protected, and unauthorized disclosure of such information is grounds for discharge.
Related commentary: Growing Scandal at National Labor Relations Board