On June 22, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board proposed new rules to “streamline” pre- and post- union election procedures that will have the effect of shortening the time between the filing of an election petition and the election, among other things. If adopted, the Board’s proposed rules would likely:
- reduce the amount of time employers have to respond to a union organizing campaign and
- restrict employers’ opportunities to communicate with employees about what it really means to have a union.
Since organized labor has not been able to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, “by administrative fiat in lieu of Congressional action, the Board will impose organized labor’s much sought- after ‘quickie election’ option, a procedure under which elections will be held in 10 to 21 days from the filing of the petition.” (Member Hayes, dissenting, available here)
The practical effect, and the desired result, of the changes is to :
- implement “quickie elections,” held within a matter of days of filing of a petition,
- severely restrict an employer’s ability to communicate with its employees about the collective bargaining process and what it really means to be unionized,
- require regional directors to schedule an election for the “’earliest date practicable consistent’ with the rules.”
The Board has scheduled a hearing on the proposed rules for July 18, 2011, and will accept written comments for a 60-day period with a 14-day period for reply comments. We will continue to monitor the developments, and tune back in for additional posts on the proposed rules.