The NLRB’s New Election Procedures Are Now In Effect

Yesterday, the NLRB’s controversial new rule aimed at streamlining the union election process took effect.  Legislative efforts to block or roll back the new rule are stalled in the Senate, and a last-ditch effort to enjoin enforcement of the rule in federal district court failed on Friday.  As a result, at least until challenges to the legality of the NLRB’s new rules have been resolved by the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, certification petitions filed with the NLRB will be subject to the expedited election procedures.

Although no firm timelines for conducting hearings or elections are included in the rule, the changes will have the effect of reducing the rights of employers to challenge the  petitioned for bargaining units, and will expedite the election process.  Specifically, the rule limits the scope of what can be reviewed in the pre-election hearing, and virtually eliminates any right to NLRB review until after the election.

Takeaways:  The practical result of the changes is likely to be that employers caught unprepared will have little time to mount an effective campaign against union certification.  With this in mind, employers should act now to address those workplace problems that tend to increase employee interest in union representation.  Employers who have not already taken action should provide supervisor training that will allow them to:  (1) identify a union organizing effort before a petition has been filed; and (2) represent the interests of management in a way that will not expose the organization to unnecessary unfair labor practice charges.

Please Note:  Petitions filed prior to April 30th will not be subject to the procedures outlined in the new rule.

About Michael Miller

Michael is a Chambers-rated attorney in Briggs and Morgan's Employment, Benefits, and Labor group and is head of the firm’s Employment Law Counseling and Compliance practice group. He has 25 years experience counseling employers to prevent unwanted litigation and advises companies of ongoing changes in federal, state and local employment law. Michael advises employers in all areas of employment law including discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, affirmative action plans, background checking, and drug/alcohol testing. For Michael's full bio, click here.

Posted on May 1, 2012, in Unions and Labor Law and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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