The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently adopted a final rule amending its representation case procedures. Upon the filing of a representation petition, the NLRB determines whether an election should be conducted to decide if the employees will be represented for collective bargaining purposes with their employer. Effective April 14, 2015, the final rule will implement amendments that purportedly streamline the procedures, increase transparency and uniformity, and implement modernized communication. Some of the key amendments include the following:
- Election petitions, election notices, and voter lists can be electronically filed.
- Parties will receive more information regarding the representation case procedures, the issues, and their rights and responsibilities.
- Once a petition is filed, the non-filing party will be required to identify any issues it disputes with the petition.
- Employers will be required to provide a list of prospective voters earlier in the process.
- Parties will be entitled to file briefs and make oral arguments in support of their positions only if the regional director determines they are necessary.
- There will be no automatic stay of the election while the NLRB reviews, upon request, a regional director’s decision.
As a practical matter, the rule will:
- Shorten the period in which employers can inform employees about the disadvantages and costs of voting for a union.
- Increase the difficulty for employers to obtain pre-election rulings on who actually votes in the election.
- Require employers to provide the telephone numbers and email addresses of potential voters to the union.
Employers will want to take action now to educate their workforces about the disadvantages of voting for a union.
If you have any questions regarding the final rule amending the NLRB’s representation case procedures, please contact Ray Rinkol.