The National Labor Relations Board has issued a new rule that returns to pre-2019 union election standards. The primary impact is that workers will wait less time to vote on whether to unionize and employers will have less time respond to unionization efforts. The new rule will apply to representation petitions filed on or after December 26, 2023.
One of the key revisions made by this new 2023 Rule is a requirement that elections are to be held prior to litigation being resolved. Previously, issues such as unlawful conduct and workers’ eligibility to vote were required to be litigated prior to an election being held.
Another one of the key provisions is the elimination of a 20-day waiting period between approval of an election petition and the beginning of a vote. Instead, regional directors are now required to hold elections “at the earliest date practicable.”
Employers are also now required to post the Notice of Petition for Election in conspicuous workplace locations within 2 business days after service of the Notice of Hearing. If employers regularly communicate with its employees electronically, the employer must also electronically distribute the notice within 2 business days. Previously employers had 5 days.
Pre-election hearings must also commence within 8 calendar days from the service of the Notice of Hearing. Additionally, the 2023 Rule limits pre-election hearings to issues of whether representation is present. Issues such as the size and scope of a proposed unit or eligibility will be resolved after elections.
In sum, under the 2023 Rule, employers must act quick to protect their interests.