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Major Employers Challenge Constitutionality of Labor Act

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Amazon is the most recent major employer to challenge the constitutionality of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRB), joining Trader Joe's, Starbucks and SpaceX.  Elon Musk's company, SpaceX, first raised the constitutional issue in a Texas federal court in January.  A company announcement from Amazon stated: "NLRB proceedings violate Article III of the United States Constitution and the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution by seeking to adjudicate private rights outside an Article III court and award a broader range of legal remedies beyond just equitable remedies without trial by jury."  These developments of Constitutional claims will likely become a standard part of employers' defenses against NLRB complaints until there is a definitive legal ruling on the issues. 

Editor's Note:  This writer believes these legal claims, while highly unusual, are not frivolous.  This writer has always wondered about the jury trial issue, and why employers have not raised it more prominently.  Recently, a 2022 ruling from the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's in-house court unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court is currently reviewing that case. 

This article is part of our April 2024 Newsletter. 

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