July 12, 2020

Volume X, Number 194

July 10, 2020

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July 09, 2020

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NLRB Postpones Postponement of Elections

On March 20th, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) suspended all representation elections, including those by mail ballot, through April 3, due to concerns related to the coronavirus. In its announcement, it indicated it was taking this unprecedented action to protect the “health and safety of its employees, as well as members of the public.” Many NLRB regional offices are closed, and the majority of NLRB investigators are working remotely

In an April 1 notice on its website, the NLRB opted not to extend this deadline, and it announced it will resume elections beginning on Monday, April 6.  NLRB Chairman John Ring explained, “The Board determined that a two-week suspension would provide the General Counsel…the opportunity to fully review the logistics of the election procedures in light of the unprecedented situation. The General Counsel now has advised that appropriate measures are available to permit elections to resume in a safe and effective manner, which will be determined by the Regional Directors.”

The Chairman did not expand on what are the “appropriate measures…available to permit elections to resume in a safe and effective manner.”  Regardless, employers whose facilities were being unionized prior to the COVID-19 pandemic are on notice that the global pandemic no longer will indefinitely suspend the processing of election petitions and scheduling of elections.  Considering the NLRB has postponed the implementation of its revised election rules through May 31, 2020, elections over the next two months will be occurring pursuant to the current “quickie” election rules and will likely occur very quickly.

Employers should consult in-house or outside labor counsel immediately following any signs of a union organizing campaign.

© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in CaliforniaNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 93


About this Author

Robert E. Entin, Polsinelli, Labor Union Lawyer, Chicago, Employee Discipline attorney

Rob Entin is not your ordinary labor and employment attorney. Before joining Polsinelli, Rob worked as an in-house counsel for a large Chicago-area labor union. That unique work experience has helped clients in the defense of unfair labor practice charges, representation at arbitrations, and bargaining over collective bargaining agreements. Working for the "other side" enables him to explain the motivation and desires of unions and the employees they represent, and this insight facilitates the development of creative solutions for many complex and sensitive workplace...