New NLRB and DOL Rules Will Help Unions Organize


The National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") and the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") published separate Notices of Proposed Rulemakings in the Federal Register in late June 2011 that would radically streamline union elections and limit employer efforts to combat union organizing. These new rules, which would shorten the election period and hamper management's ability to use labor persuaders, are an effort by the current administration to achieve pro-union goals via regulation that it failed to win through legislation when the Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA") stalled in Congress.

Proposed NLRB Rules Would Streamline Union Election Procedures

On June 22, 2011, the NLRB published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register. If adopted as final rules following the public notice and comment process, the new NLRB regulations would:

o Permit electronic filing of case documents, including election petitions, election notices, and voter lists. Current regulations do not allow for electronic filing of important representation case documents.

o Require the NLRB Regional Director to set a pre-election hearing seven days after the filing of a petition (absent special circumstances) and a post-election hearing 14 days after the ballots are tallied (or at the earliest date practicable). Current pre or post-election hearing dates vary by NLRB Region.

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