Employment Alert: The Employee Free Choice Act and the RESPECT Act: How Should Employers Respond?


The proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and Re-Empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Tradesworkers (RESPECT) Act, both supported by the Obama administration, would amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in significant ways and potentially lead to an unprecedented revival of unionization in the United States.

Notably, under existing labor law, union-free employers have a reasonable chance to counteract a secretive organizing campaign due to secret ballot elections conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) following a four to six-week “campaign” where the employer presents the employees with its side of the story. However, under the proposed EFCA, employers will have no time to “campaign” and will find themselves unionized without so much as a single ballot cast because employers will be forced to bargain with labor organizations that simply deliver authorization cards signed by a majority of employees. Signed authorization cards are easy to obtain by unions, particularly where an employer has not communicated why employees should not sign them.

As the passage of this legislation in the near future is quite likely, there is no better time than the present for union-free employers to be proactive in combating this expected new wave of organized labor.

Please see full alert for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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