Significant changes to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) union election rules and procedures represent yet another attempt by the Obama Administration and its appointees to hinder employers wishing to remain union-free. Ostensibly designed to shorten the median time of 38 days between filing a representation petition and the actual election, the altered rules would also limit the time in which employers can present their case to employees; shift some crucial pre-election issues to post-election hearings; and limit an employer’s review and appeal rights. While litigation is pending to enjoin the altered rules – presently set to take effect on April 1, 2012 – employers wishing to remain union free should be proactive in making their positions known to employees long before a petition is filed.
On December 21, 2011, the two Obama-appointed National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) members whose terms had not yet expired voted to substantially alter union representation election rules and procedures. Republican member Hayes opposed the changes. The new rules were published in the Federal Register on December 22. The altered rules affect several types of union representation petitions and elections. However, they primarily affect the processing of representation petitions filed by a union seeking to represent employees not then represented by a union if the employer is not willing to agree to an election. This Alert will focus on that situation...
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