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Employment Blog

Lawsuit Challenges NLRB Rules On Quickie Election

Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Posted on January 13, 2015
Filed under Employment

As we have previously discussed on this blog site, the National Labor Relations Board has published new election rules often described as the “quickie election” rules. A blog summarizing the rules can be found here. These rules are to take effect on April 14, 2015, but a legal challenge has been filed to seek overturning of these new election rules. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce along with other employer associations, has filed suit challenging the legality of the new rules published by the National Labor Relations Board. This legal challenge focuses on allegations that the new rules deny employers their constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of commercial speech. The litigation has been filed in the federal district court in Washington D.C. 

The Chamber of Commerce has had success in the past challenging various rules adopted by the NLRB on the grounds that the NLRB was over-reaching in the wording of the rule and violating the constitutional rights of employers. Some of those challenges focused on the lack of authority of the NLRB which is not an issue to be litigated in this case. There are still questions regarding the appropriateness of the NLRB rule and the breadth of the rule but whether this legal challenge will cause the rule to be rescinded by the NLRB or overturned by the federal court remains to be seen. 

Employers should be careful to not rely upon the past successes and assume the “quickie election” rule will not be implemented in April. Steps should be taken now by companies to ensure they are prepared in the event the election rules apply and a union organizing effort is initiated. Companies will not have the opportunity to address the myriad of issues that could arise in a union election proceeding if these new rules are in effect.