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NLRB GC to Publish Manual Ballot Protocols

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Peter Robb appears to want NLRB Regional Directors to give more consideration to holding manual, rather than mail, ballot elections than they have during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Employment Law360, during a National Employment Law Council webinar, Robb announced he will post on the NLRB’s website his “‘suggested protocols’ for employers and unions to follow before the regional directors who process election petitions will call for in-person votes.’”

Robb said he expects to post the protocols by July 3. He acknowledged that, no matter what his protocols contain, it is up to the NLRB to decide what are “‘sufficient safety measures to run manual elections.’”

During April through June 2020, almost 100% of the NLRB elections conducted have been by mail ballot, even where both the union and the employer wanted a manual ballot election.

Typically, manual ballot elections are conducted on the employer’s premises. In order to vote, employees must be handed a ballot by an NLRB agent who is on the premises to conduct and supervise the election. Regional Directors have uniformly decided that this procedure may subject the agent and employees to the risk of contracting COVID-19. Several of the Regional Directors’ decisions have been appealed to the NLRB. In all cases, the NLRB has decided there was no abuse of discretion in ordering a mail ballot election. For more on manual and mail ballot elections during the pandemic, see our Special Report, Plan Ahead, Employers: NLRB Ordering Mail Ballot Elections Because of COVID-19 Pandemic.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume X, Number 184



About this Author

Howard Bloom, Jackson Lewis, labor union attorney, unfair practice investigations lawyer, employment legal counsel, bargaining law

Howard M. Bloom is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced labor and employment law representing exclusively employers for more than 36 years.

Mr. Bloom counsels clients in a variety of industries on labor law issues. He trains and advises executives, managers and supervisors on union awareness and positive employee relations, and assists employers in connection with union card-signing efforts, traditional union representation and corporate campaigns, and union decertification...

Jonathan J. Spitz, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney, Atlanta

Jonathan J. Spitz is a Principal in the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is Co-Leader of the firm’s Labor and Preventive Practices Group.

Mr. Spitz lectures extensively, conducts management training, and advises clients with respect to legislative and regulatory initiatives, corporate strategies, business ethics, social media issues and the changing regulatory landscape. He understands the practical and operational needs of corporate America, helping design pragmatic strategies to minimize risk and maximize performance. He has represented...