NLRB attempts to resurrect rule for expedited union election process
Currently, an employer facing a union election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on average has 39 days to campaign after the petition for an election has been filed. Previously in 2011, the NLRB proposed rules to change the procedure for union elections which would have substantially reduced the time for an employer to campaign. Those proposed rules never took effect after a federal court determined that the NLRB lacked a proper quorum for implementing them. On February 5, 2014, the NLRB, acting with a full complement of members, announced newly proposed rules nearly identical to those that were struck down.
Significantly, the proposed rules would allow votes in an election to occur as early as ten days after the election petition is filed. Currently, after the NLRB directs an election, an employer has seven days to provide the names and addresses of employees who are eligible to vote. The proposed rules would reduce that time to two days and would also require employers to provide the phone numbers and email addresses for the employees. The proposed rules also include allowing for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents; limiting pre-election hearing issues; eliminating pre-election requests for review and waiting periods; and consolidating pre-and post-election legal challenge procedures into one post-election appeal to the NLRB. The proposed rules can be found here .
The proposed rules would substantially expedite union elections and curtail the ability of employers to adequately inform their employees about the impact of union representation. An open-comment period on the proposed rules will last 60 days, and a public hearing will be held during the week of April 7. For more information regarding the proposed rules, their possible impact or how to submit comments to the NLRB, please contact any of our Labor and Employment attorneys.