NLRB Issues Proposed Union Election Changes

December 13, 2011

THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD will be approving a series of changes intended to streamline procedures for employee votes for union representation that will include: limitations on pre-election hearings; restrictions on post-hearing requests intended to facilitate prompt rulings; elimination of the right to seek pre-election and post-election reviews; expansion of the board's ability to schedule elections immediately; and limits to NLRB review of post-election disputes.

Additional rules being considered by the board include a requirement for holding hearings within seven days after notice, providing employee email addresses and phone numbers to union organizers, and accelerating employers providing unions with lists of employee names and mailing addresses.

These proposed rules may be the final piece of business that the NLRB is able to decide upon for the immediate future. Without action from the U.S. Senate, the NLRB will lose one member at the end of 2012 and fall beneath the minimum panel size at which Congress has delegated authority to the panel. "Pearce Issues NLRB Election Rule Proposals Before Public Meeting on Controversial Issue," Daily Lab. Rep. (BNA) No. 229, at AA-1 (Nov. 29, 2011).

IMPACT: Employers are advised to apprise themselves of the changes that will affect and limit "needless litigation" from delaying employee votes on union representation.