Thursday, September 05, 2013


I felt that I had to download the new National Labor Relations Board app that lunched 6 days ago (in time for Labor Day, I guess). As someone who deals with that agency just about every day I have to say that the app is really disappointing.

The NLRB web site is actually quite good. There are a lot of useful things on the site both for someone who isn't familiar with the agency and someone like me who has regularly practiced before the agency for more than a decade. I was hoping some of the statutes, regulations, or case handling manuals that are on that site would be in the app. But they are not. Instead of the actual law there is a general summary employers', employees', and unions' rights, so general that it's hard to imagine it would be useful for any of the people who might be inclined to download the app. Most people don't know anything about the NLRB. The people who are going to bother to get the app are the rare folks who already know a bit about what the NLRB is and want to be able to carry around some of its resources on their phone. None of the kind of people who would install a NLRB app need the introductory summary the app offers. The people who do not know that stuff are never going to search out and install an NLRB app on their device. It looks like the NLRB didn't think through who its likely audience will be for the app.

The only useful feature on the app is a regional office locator, that gives you the contact information for the closest regional office. That isn't all that useful for me because I am in pretty regular contact with those offices. But at least it might be handy for some people.

The one thing I did learn was the three closest NLRB offices to my office are Region 4 (Philadelphia, no surprise there, it's 2.5 blocks from here), Region 22 (Newark), and Region 29 (Brooklyn). I would have thought that Region 5 (Baltimore) or Region 2 (Manhattan) would have been closer than the Brooklyn office. Okay, now I've learned it. So why do I still need this app on my phone?