By Edwin S. Hopson
Because of declining case loads, NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon has announced implementation of a pilot program that will consolidate a number regional offices effective May 1, 2012. Under the plan, staff in regional offices in Atlanta, Georgia (Region 10) and Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Region 11) will report to the same Regional Director, Claude T. Harrell, Jr., who is based in Atlanta. Also, regional offices in St. Louis, Missouri (Region 14) and Kansas City, Kansas (Region 17) will also have the same Regional Director, Daniel L. Hubbel, who is based inKansas City. The sub-regional office in Peoria, Illinois will move from the St. Louisregion to the regional office in Indianapolis, Indiana (Region 25). No offices will actually be closed under the plan.
The pilot program will allow the general counsel’s office to gather information and sort out questions that have arisen on internal NLRB management and case handling. Once sufficient data and experience is gained, Solomon stated that he can then choose to present a formal proposal to the Board. In any event, any permanent structural change in the regional office structure would need to move through the federal rulemaking process.