Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Jul 15, 2011

NLRB proposes faster elections, more reporting

Labor Relations 

The National Labor Relations Board recently issued two significant proposals affecting employers.

One proposal would streamline the process for workers to vote whether to have a union represent them. Once a union files a petition to hold an election, employers would have to submit information more quickly and would have fewer opportunities to appeal (76 Fed Reg 36812, June 22, 2011). Currently most elections take place within five or six weeks after a petition is filed. The employer is often surprised to get the petition and has to scramble to put together a campaign to convince workers to reject the union. The shorter that campaign period, the less opportunity an employer has to make their case before the election.

The second proposal would greatly expand the requirement to report assistance by labor relations consultants (such as Vigilant). Currently no reporting is required unless a labor relations consultant personally speaks to employees to persuade them to exercise or refrain from exercising their right to organize and bargain collectively. Under the proposal, if the consultant’s actions even indirectly persuade employees, then both the employer and the consultant would have to file reports disclosing their arrangement and terms of payment. For example, if the consultant provides a campaign flyer or drafts a meeting outline for the employer to use in persuading employees to vote against union representation, that activity would have to be reported. However, no reporting would be required if the consultant is simply giving advice on complying with the National Labor Relations Act, representing the employer before a court, agency or arbitrator, or engaging in collective bargaining (76 Fed Reg 36178, June 21, 2011).      

Vigilant will be submitting comments on behalf of our members. If you would like to participate in this process, please contact Karen Davis (k.davis@vigilantcounsel.org or 800-733-8621). Comments are due on August 22, 2011.

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