April 30, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NLRB “Quickie Election” Rule is Now in Effect
Two weeks ago, I was glad to report that the National Labor Relations Board’s requirement to post an “NLRA Rights” poster was put on hold until at least the end of this year. Today, my news is not so positive. The NLRB “quickie elections” rule is now in effect and dramatically changes how union elections are conducted.
Pursuant to the new rule, the time between when a union files a petition with the NLRB seeking an election and when the election is held has been dramatically reduced from roughly 45 days to just a few short weeks. Statistically, the less notice employers have about a union organizing campaign, and the less time they have to campaign about the merits of remaining union-free, the more likely employees are to vote in favor of union representation.
Employers are also limited in the type of appeals and the timing to bring appeals regarding union campaign tactics and union-proposed bargaining units. These election procedures were standard for decades and kept deceptive and illegal union organizing in check, ensured only appropriate, non-managerial employees were included in bargaining units, and postponed election dates until all pre-election issues were resolved.
Most pre-election issues will no longer be resolved before the election. The effect of these changes, especially when considering that “micro bargaining units” are now permitted, will likely increase the number of unions at smaller employers whose employees are more vulnerable to union organizing tactics. Employers of all sizes, though, should ensure they are preemptively insulated from a union’s attempt to organize their employees.
Matt Austin is a Columbus, Ohio labor lawyer who owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. Matt can be reached by email at Matt.Austin@Austin-Legal.com or by phone at 614.285.5342.