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Employment Blog

Are Quickie Elections Coming in 2014?

Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Posted on December 16, 2013
Filed under Employment

A recent action by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has signaled that a new rule on "quickie" elections will be up for debate (and likely passage) in 2014. Several days ago, the NLRB voluntarily dismissed the appeal of a federal District Court decision which held that the Board's expedited representation election process was invalid because the Board lacked a quorum at the time that it issued the rule in December of 2011. This action was taken by the NLRB because it now has a full complement of members, and it is strongly anticipated that the Board will re-do the "quickie election" rule in early 2014 and re-issue such a rule for future union elections.

Under the "quickie election" rule, there would be significant changes to the pre-election and post-election procedures used by the NLRB. Under the past version of the rule, there would be a limitation on the scope of a pre-election hearing used to determine whether or not there is a question concerning representation and also eliminated restrictions that required an election not take place sooner than 25 days after the date of a Direction of Election issued by the Board. Under the previously proposed rule, an election could be held within 10 days of a Direction of Election which will greatly impact the ability of an employer to conduct a campaign against the union organizing effort. The previously issued rule also provided an alternate procedure for elections to be conducted without a full determination of the eligibility of employees to be included in the election proceedings and gave broad discretion to hearing examiners to limit the amount of legal arguments and briefing that would be made in pre-election proceedings.

Employers need to be aware of this anticipated new rule on "quickie elections." There may be little time for an employer to react to a union election petition if the new rule is adopted with similar limitations on the election timeline. Employers will have to be ever-vigilant to determine if there is a union organizing campaign undergoing in their facility and then be prepared to respond immediately to deliver the company message about the need to a union.