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December 15, 2014

National Labor Relations Board Issues Final Ambush Elections Rule

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last Friday issued it final ambush elections rule, which will significantly speed up the timeline for union elections. As the National Association of Manufacturers, Politico and The National Law Review all explain, this rule overturns existing policy and:

  • Eliminates the required 25-day period between the time an election is ordered and the election itself. (According to The National Law Review, pre-election hearings will begin eight days after hearing notice is serviced while a post-election hearing will occur 14 days after objections are filed);
  • Reduces an employer's opportunity to litigate, prior to an election, whether certain employees are eligible to vote, including eliminating an employer’s right to challenge voter eligibility;
  • Requires parties to file a Statement of Position identifying the issues they may want to raise during pre-election hearing and keeps new objections from being raised until after the election is held;
  • Eliminates the NLRB’s requirement to review every aspect of any post-election dispute, which means the NLRB now will only review disputes when one party has raised an objection prior to the election;
  • Allows electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents; and
  • Requires employers to provide to unions a list of prospective voters and their contact information, job classifications, shifts and work locations.

As part of the Coalition for the Democratic Workplace (CDW), MSCI opposed this rule. Coalition CDW legal strategist Josh Ulman said in a statement “The NLRB’s rule is designed to prevent employees from gathering the facts before they cast a ballot for or against union representation” and argued “the rule is yet another attempt by this agency to push the agenda of large labor unions at the expense of employees and employers.” Ulman also promised “CDW will again look to protect millions of American workplaces by seeking redress through a lawsuit.” (The coalition and other business advocacy organizations are still deciding the next step in the battle over this harmful regulation, but MSCI will join those efforts and keep our members up-to-date on them through Connecting the Dots. The National Association of Manufacturers has already pledged to file a lawsuit challenging the rule.) In the meantime the employment and labor law firm Littler will hold a webinar to help employers prepare for the rule. The two-hour webinar will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. ET; registration is available here. The ambush elections rule will take effect on April 14, 2015.