The National Labor Relations Board, the primary government agency entrusted with the responsibility to "control and oversee" labor management relationships, is undergoing a 21st century makeover. With the substantial decrease in private sector unionization (set, by some surveys, at less than 7% of the nation's private sector workforce), the NLRB has seen fit to extend its regulatory authority to protect and promote the Section 7 rights of individuals arising under the Act into the social media venue.
As technology improves and more of the workforce becomes conversant with Smart Phones, iPhones, and Touch Pads, the chance of the ever-expanding litigation dealing with Wage and Hour claims becomes greater. In an article that appeared in our June 2011 entitled "A Bridge to Justice - A Bridge Too Far?" the author discussed the unprecedented collaboration between a Federal Government Agency [Department of Labor (DOL) - Wage and Hour Division] and the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Lawyer Referrals and Information Systems. That article detailed the fact that the DOL and the ABA had entered into an approved attorney referral system that would allow the DOL to refer cases that they could not handle to "qualified counsel." It is now becoming quite clear that the DOL - Wage and Hour Division is expanding its ability to interface with both employees and the consuming public.