Presidential Authority to Extend Deadline for Submission of an Emergency Board Report Under the Railway Labor Act


The President may require an Emergency Board under the Railway Labor Act to submit its report before the statutory deadline, but he may not extend that thirty-day deadline unless the parties involved have entered into a side agreement extending the status quo period during which they refrain from self-help.

There is substantial doubt as to whether a court would conclude that such a side agreement between the parties not to resort to self-help is equitably enforceable under the Norris-LaGuardia Act.

The President does not have the authority to impose a second status quo period by convening a second Emergency Board or reconvening the original Board.

Updated July 9, 2014