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NLRB Issues New Election Rules Which Make It Easier for Unions To Organize

On December 12, 2014, the NLRB finally issued its new union election rules. The rules will be published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2014, and will become effective on April 14, 2015. The new rules are similar to the proposed rules published in the Federal Register on February 6, 2014. The new rules will cover all NLRB representation petitions, including elections to select a union and to remove a union.

The new NLRB election rules set forth an "accelerated election" process which gives employers less time to explain to employees the pros and cons of union representation. Key areas in which the new rules will speed up the representation processes include:

  1. It is likely that elections will be held within 20 days of the filing of the petition.

  2. The NLRB will schedule pre-election hearings within eight days after an election petition is filed.

  3. After a petition has been filed, employers will be required to post an initial “NLRB Notice of Election”, which contains generic information about the petition and the parties’ rights and obligations.

  4. Pre-election hearings will be limited to whether a question concerning representation exists. At the hearing, the NLRB hearing officer could limit the evidence the parties are allowed to present, including on the issue of the eligibility of individual employees to vote in the election.

  5. Employers will have to fill out and submit a “Statement of Position” form within seven days of receipt of the election petition.  The “Statement of Position” will include a list of prospective voters, with their job classifications, shifts and work locations. Were the employer to fail to raise a particular election issue in this “Statement of Position”, it may not present evidence on the issue at the representation hearing. 

  6. Election stays pending an appeal to the NLRB will not be permitted.

  7. Individual voter eligibility issues will be deferred from the pre-election hearing to post-election proceedings.

  8. The list of all eligible bargaining unit employees (“Excelsior list”) will be filed electronically two days after a Direction of Election has been issued, and must include employees’ home addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.

  9. Post-election hearings will be set fourteen days after the filing of objections.

  10. The NLRB, post-election, is no longer required to hear appeals of election issues.

Because of these new NLRB rules, employers are at immediate risk of increased union organizing activity. Concerned employers should take steps to prepare.

©2022 MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLPNational Law Review, Volume IV, Number 348

About this Author

Robert Mulcahy, Michael Best Law Firm, Private and Public Sector Labor and Employment Attorney

Rob is a skilled negotiator whose practice includes both public and private sector management labor and employment law. His work includes National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proceedings, collective bargaining, contract administration and arbitration proceedings.

Rob also has extensive experience working on employment discrimination matters and wage and hour claims. He helps clients tackle tough issues, including:

  • Union elections and right to work

  • Severance agreements...

Thomas Scrivner, Michael Best Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney

Tom’s practice includes all aspects of labor law and employment litigation. He represents clients in a broad range of industries including construction, health care, printing, education, manufacturing service providers, and nonprofits. Tom is a frequent speaker before industry gatherings on topics such as wrongful discharge, employment litigation, work force reduction, drug and alcohol testing, disability and family medical leave laws, and sexual harassment.

Amy O. Bruchs, Labor Attorney, Michael Best Law Firm, employment litigator
Managing Partner, Madison Office

Amy’s outstanding track record is built on successful outcomes in the full spectrum of labor, employment and business-related issues, in both litigation and non-litigation settings.

As a problem solver, Amy applies common sense and creativity to develop targeted employment-related solutions for her clients. She has substantial experience in delivering positive outcomes posed by issues involving:

  • Discrimination claims
  • Drafting and Enforcing Employment and related contracts
  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • Restrictive covenants, including non-...
Brian Paul, Michael Best Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney

Brian brings strategic business vision to his work representing companies engaged in employment-related disputes, both in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. The focus of Brian’s practice is to deliver positive outcomes in litigation matters, including:

  • Class action discrimination

  • Wage and hour collective actions

  • Harassment and discrimination claims

  • Wrongful termination

  • ...