Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)' provides that certain classes of employees are excluded from the Act's coverage of bargaining unit formation and employee activity. The National Labor Relations Board has added to this unprotected category two classifications of employees--those who are engaged in management policy formulation or effectuation (managerial employees) and those who assist management in the formulation of labor relations policies (confidential employees)--because of their close affiliation with management. The concept of managerial employee, however, has not been defined precisely and thus has given rise to considerable confusion when applied in various factual settings. In two recent Board rulings, North Arkansas Electric Cooperative, Inc. , and Textron Inc. , the Board has attempted to restrict the scope of the managerial classification to only those employees involved in shaping or implementing management's labor policy, rather than to those involved in effectuating any management policy; this redefinition thus has rendered the managerial employee classification virtually indistinguishable from that of the confidential employee. This Comment will endeavor to analyze the Board's action and to identify its underlying rationale.