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Employment Blog

"Quickie Election" Rule Under Attack

The National Labor Relations Board will be holding public hearings on April 10 and April 11 regarding the proposed "quickie election" rule that would expedite the election process and reduce the ability of an employer to campaign against a union representation election. Several prior blogs have addressed some of the elements of the proposed rule, but now the U.S. Senate may take up legislation that would override the changes in the proposed rule.

Two pieces of legislation have been proposed in the Senate. The first would set specific timelines for the conduct of a union organizing election by using the current 38-day requirement for holding an election, being 38-days after the petition has been filed. The proposed legislation would also establish different timeline requirements for providing the Excelsior List to the union similar to what is currently required under the NLRB election rules that exist today.

A second piece of legislation centers around privacy concerns and would limit the type of information a company would be required to provide to a union after an election petition has been filed and a hearing held on who is eligible to vote in the election. The bill would limit the employer to providing one method of communicating with the employee such as phone number or e-mail address, which would depend upon the method preferred by the employee. This legislation counters the proposed rule requirement that addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses must be provided in the Excelsior List.

One of the more important aspects of the proposed legislation would be to continue the requirement that a hearing be held to determine who would be eligible to vote in the election if there is a contest over which employees are eligible to vote. The proposed new rule would only allow a contest regarding election eligibility if more than 20 percent of the eligible employees were in dispute. Under the proposed legislation, a hearing would be held to determine whether employees would be eligible to vote or not eligible because of their supervisory status. The employer would be allowed to file a brief after a hearing and then a decision would be made by the NLRB Regional Director before any election would be held.

It is obvious the issues regarding the "quickie election" will be the subject of a great deal of debate over the next several months. Stay tuned for more information.