Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Dec 09, 2011

NLRB to implement some aspects of quick election procedures

Labor Relations 

In a 2-1 vote, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) resolved to draft a final rule that would implement some of the recently proposed changes to procedures for union elections.

In a 2-1 vote, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) resolved to draft a final rule that would implement some of the recently proposed changes to procedures for union elections. The Board received over 65,000 written comments (including comments from Vigilant) to its proposal to streamline and speed up the process for holding a union election (76 Fed Reg 36812-36847, June 22, 2011). With two seats vacant on the five-member Board, and the impending expiration of the term of one of the remaining members on December 31, 2011, the Chair was anxious to move forward while they still have a quorum. The next step will be the drafting of a final rule, which will be voted on by the Board and then (if approved) published in the Federal Register. In a dispute over whether an election should be held, the key changes to the procedures would be:

  • The hearing officer would have authority to limit evidence to whether a question of representation exists (i.e., whether the union really has enough support to proceed with an election);
  • The parties could file post-hearing briefs if permitted by the administrative law judge;
  • The parties wouldn’t be allowed to appeal pre-election rulings by the regional director (instead, they would have to wait until after the election, and then only do so if the issue wasn’t moot);
  • The standard 25-day waiting period between the regional director’s decision that an election should proceed, and the date of the election would be eliminated; and
  • The Board would have discretion whether to accept an appeal of a post-election decision by a regional director or administrative law judge. 

Vigilant will keep members apprised if a final rule is approved.

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