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The National Labor Relations Board’s outdated jurisdictional standards give the agency more authority and power over American businesses than it was ever intended to have when Congress set these standards in 1958. Representative Bob Good’s (R-Va.) new bill, H.R. 7743, the Small Businesses Before Bureaucrats Act, would update these standards, alleviating regulatory burdens on small businesses. All members of Congress should cosponsor and support this important piece of legislation. 

Cosponsors of the legislation include Mary Miller (R-Ill.), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Randy Weber (R-Texas), Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Brian Higgins (R-La.), John Moolenaar (R-Mich.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), and Scott Perry (R-Penn.).

The NLRB has jurisdiction over labor disputes, enforces laws against “unfair” labor practices, and engages in rulemaking in a number of different areas. The agency currently has authority over any retail business whose annual revenue exceeds $500,000 and any non-retailers whose annual revenue exceeds $50,000. These standards were established in 1958, 64 years ago. In today’s dollars, those amounts would be about $5 million and $500,000 respectively.  

Rep. Good’s Small Businesses Before Bureaucrats Act would update the NLRB’s jurisdictional standards by setting them at $5 million for retail businesses and $500,000 for non-retail businesses. Updating these standards would empower small businesses to operate without the federal government breathing down their necks.  

Small businesses are crushed by massive regulatory costs and burdens, as detailed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Regulation Study

  • Federal regulations alone are estimated to cost the American economy as much as $1.9 trillion a year in direct costs, lost productivity, and higher prices.  
  • Small businesses pay on average $11,700 per year per employee in regulatory costs. 
  • The costs of regulation to smaller businesses with 50 employees or less are nearly 20 percent higher than they are for the business. 
  • The regulatory costs of federal economically significant rules to small businesses amount to over $40 billion per year. 
  • Every $1 increase in per capita regulatory expenditures are directly correlated with decreases in the smallest firms by 0.0156 percent. 
  • For every one law Congress passes, the federal government issues 16 new regulations.  
  • Formal appeals to the Small Business Administration’s office for assistance in dealing with federal regulators rose 65 percent between 2012 and 2014. 

Lessening this massive burden on small businesses will allow them to flourish, thus increasing wages, jobs, and economic activity in the process.  

While the NLRB was intended to act as a neutral arbiter for business disputes, it has now been overrun by bureaucrats imposing the desires of labor unions on small businesses – especially under the Biden Administration.  

For example, NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo recently issued a memo that essentially rewrites labor law, as noted by the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board. Her memo overturned 75 years of legal practice by deeming mandatory meetings, in which companies may communicate their opposition to unionization, “unlawful.”  

The National Labor Relations Act, which established the NLRB, allows these meetings, stating that corporate expression “of any views, argument or opinion, or the dissemination thereof . . . shall not constitute or be evidence of an unfair labor practice.” 

The NLRB was never meant to have authority over such a substantial portion of American businesses. The agency was also never meant to be an extension of powerful labor unions. Rep. Good’s Small Businesses Before Bureaucrats Act would provide necessary relief to small businesses by increasing the NLRB’s jurisdictional standards.