Union representation elections are usually done in person at the workplace. When the workforce is scattered or works odd shifts the union and the National Labor Relations Board likes to use mail-in ballots as a way to ensure all voting employees have an equal chance to vote. Oddly, an NLRB Regional Director declined to count ballots that came in after the ballots were counted, but were postmarked before the deadline, resulting in complying voters not having their vote counted.
Due to the large percent of delayed ballots, the outcome of the election could have been different. Of the ballots counted, 60% voted in favor of the union. But, 40% of the ballots came in too late to be counted. If 40% of the late ballots were against union representation, the workforce would have remained non-union. The Board’s decision to disregard these important ballots failed to assure employees the fullest freedom in exercising the rights guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act while furthering its goal in increasing union membership.
Matt Austin is a lawyer based in the Columbus, Ohio office of Roetzel & Andress, LPA who limits his practice to representing employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 723-2010 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.