NLRB To Issue Scaled-Back Changes to Rules Governing Union Elections; Changes Expected to Lead to Quicker Elections

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In June 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed new rules governing union elections under the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB's proposed changes to its election procedures drew a tsunami of comments from the labor and business communities and led to a nasty public disagreement among NLRB members. Today, the NLRB announced that it will issue a scaled-down version of the hotly debated changes to its union election rules. The NLRB will officially publish the final version of the rules tomorrow and they will become effective on April 30, 2012.

Although not as sweeping as the rule proposed in June, the final rule announced today still makes several significant changes to the current procedure. For example, the final rule:

• Expressly limits pre-election hearings to whether a question over representation exists and gives hearing officers the authority to likewise limit the presentation of evidence and argument to that question;

• Eliminates the right to file pre-election requests for review of a regional director’s decision and direction of election, and instead defers all requests for review until after the election at which time the request will be consolidated with any request for review of any post-election rulings;

• Eliminates the recommendation that regional directors should not schedule elections until at least 25 days after their decision to allow for sufficient time for review by the NLRB;

Please see full Alert below for further information.

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