NLRB Issues Final "Ambush Elections" Rule

Volume 13, Issue 20
December 15, 2014

On Friday, December 12, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) delivered another blow to employers by adopting a final rule amending its union representation procedures to allow for "ambush elections," under the thinly-veiled guise that the rule change was needed to "modernize and streamline the process for resolving representation disputes" and "fulfill the promise of the National Labor Relations Act." In actuality, the rule dramatically changes the NLRB's longstanding union election procedures and is designed to boost union organizing efforts by speeding up the union election process before employers are able to effectively respond and employees can fairly assess their options. The final rule was published in today's Federal Register and is scheduled to take effect on April 14, 2015.

Of particular concern, the new ambush election rule:

  • Limits the issues that can be addressed before the election and postpones virtually all litigation over proposed bargaining unit and union eligibility issues until after the election itself;
  • Requires employers to submit a position statement on all issues raised by the proposed bargaining unit seven (7) days after receipt of the petition with issues not raised considered waived;
  • Severely shortens the time between the filing of an election petition request and the election itself, making it difficult for employers to communicate with employees regarding whether or not to form a union; and
  • Requires employers to furnish union organizers with all available personal email addresses and phone numbers of employees eligible to vote in a union election.

Legal, employer and other professional associations, such as SHRM, are evaluating the final rule's scope and impact on the workplace and considering all options to prevent these unnecessary and harmful changes from going forward.

More information is available in a fact sheet on the NLRB's website, which includes the dissenting NLRB Members' views on the final rule, the majority NLRB Members' response to the dissenting Members' views on the final rule and a red-lined version of the NLRB's election procedure.

If you have any questions or would like further information about this legal development, please do not hesitate to call the KZA attorney with whom you regularly work or call our office at (702) 259-8640.

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.