NLRB Begins Second Attempt At Mandating "Quickie Elections"

Volume 13, Issue 1
February 7, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") has announced the restarting of its efforts to revamp the way it processes union elections and, yesterday, published proposed union representation rules in the Federal Register. If implemented, the proposed rules will make it far easier for labor unions to win elections by restricting the rights of both employers and employees.

The NLRB asserts that its proposed changes are needed to "more effectively administer the National Labor Relations Act," and are aimed at "modernizing processes, enhancing transparency and eliminating unnecessary litigation and delay." However, the fast-track election process envisioned by the NLRB denies employers adequate time to address the potential impact of union representation with employees, deprives employees of the opportunity to make fully informed choices and forces elections to be held before election issues, such as voter eligibility, are fully addressed, leading some to more aptly refer to the process as one of "ambush elections."

The proposed rules are virtually identical to those published in June of 2011 and partially implemented in December 2011. However, those prior rule changes were passed by the NLRB at a time when it did not have a lawful quorum, and were later struck down by a federal court in May of 2012. See Volume 11, Issue 4 of the KZA Employer Reports (May 15, 2012). In December 2013, the NLRB abandoned its pending appeal of the federal court's decision, which cleared the way for the current, Democrat-laden NLRB to start the rulemaking process over again.

The public is invited to comment on the proposed rules on or before April 7, 2014, either electronically at or by mail. In addition, the Board will hold a public hearing during the week of April 7th, at which members of the public may address the proposed amendments and make other suggestions for improving the NLRB's union representation procedures.

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.