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16 Feb 2024


USA: Labor Board is unconstitutional, Amazon argues in legal filing regarding unionized workers

"Amazon Argues Labor Board is Unconstitutional", 16 February 2024

...Amazon argued in a legal filing... that the National Labor Relations Board was unconstitutional. ...

The labor board consists of a prosecutorial arm, which issues complaints against employers or unions deemed to have violated federally protected labor rights; administrative judges, who hear complaints; and a five-member board in Washington, to which decisions can be appealed.

Amazon’s filing was part of a case before an administrative judge in which labor board prosecutors have accused Amazon of illegally retaliating against workers at a Staten Island warehouse known as JFK8, which unionized two years ago.

The company’s lawyers repeatedly denied in their filing that Amazon had broken the law. Then, under a section titled “Other Defenses,” they argued that “the structure of the N.L.R.B. violates the separation of powers” by “impeding the executive power provided for in Article II of the United States Constitution.”

The company also argued that the board or its actions or proceedings violated Articles I and III of the Constitution, as well as the Fifth and Seventh Amendments — in the last case because, the filing said, board hearings can seek legal remedies beyond what’s allowed without a trial by jury.

Amazon declined to comment. ...

Wilma Liebman, a chairwoman of the labor board under President Barack Obama, called the arguments by Amazon and SpaceX “radical,” adding that “the constitutionality of the N.L.R.B. was settled nearly 90 years ago by the Supreme Court.”

The arguments appear to align with a broader... effort to question the constitutionality of a variety of regulatory actions, some of which have resulted in cases before the Supreme Court. ...