The National Labor Relations Board reissued its ambush election rules that will shorten thenlrb-logo timetable for union representation elections. This is the same rule that became effective in April, 2012, but was struck down in May, 2012 because the NLRB did not have enough members to approve the final rule. This rule reduces the time available for employers to organize an effective campaign against unionization in their workplace.

The proposed rule changes the following:

  • Employers must give unions employees phone numbers and e-mail addresses prior to election. The prior rule only required names and addresses.
  • The new rules requires that a hearing must be held within 7 days of the union’s representation petition.
  • The rule that elections may not take pace sooner than 25 days after a Direction of Election would be eliminated, meaning that elections will take place more quickly.
  • Pre-election appeals will be severely limited.

The new rule raises significant concerns for employers in responding to union organization. Under the old rule, elections take place around 38 days after the union files a petition for election. The new rule will allow for elections in 10 to 21 days from the filing of the petition. This “quickie” election likely means that unions will win more elections. And, given that unions win more than 60% of elections under the old rule, there is reason for concern for merit shops.

The NLRB has again requested comments on the rule. 65,000 comments were submitted in response to the last ambush election rule and I expect that there will be a lot of comments this time around. Comments may be submitted until April 14, 2014 though or by mailing them to the NLRB’s Washington D.C. headquarters.