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Employment Blog

The Quickie Elections Survive all Court Challenges

Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Posted on August 5, 2015
Filed under Employment

The quickie election rule adopted by the National Labor Relations Board has survived the first stages of legal challenge as a Washington D.C. Federal District Court has found that the election rules do not violate protected rights of employers.  Because of this, employers will continue to see increases in union election petitions filed by local unions seeking to represent all or part of the employees of a company.  The industries that have been impacted the most thus far are health care and life sciences companies; construction, engineering, and landscape businesses; and transportation and courier services. 

Under the new election rules, elections take place far more quickly.  Employers will have much less time to communicate about their position opposing any union representing the employees in their business.  Most union representation elections will be held between 10 and 21 days after a petition is filed.  The employer has far less opportunity to challenge whether or not certain individuals are considered eligible to vote or should be excluded from the bargaining unit.  Employers are also required to provide an electronic list of the employee's name, home address, telephone number, e-mail address, work location, shift and job position in a very quick fashion  so the union can communicate with the individuals who are considered eligible to vote in the union election.

If these rules are going to continue to exist, what steps should an employer take to address the consequences of the quickie election process?  Employers should review their employee list to determine which employees are supervisors under the NLRB test in order to be able to successfully argue that these individuals should be exempt from the union election proceeding.  These individuals should be trained regarding the rules relating to communicating with an employee over the election process.  Employers should also develop appropriate campaign materials and be prepared in the event an election petition is filed.  Most importantly, companies should be very sensitive to the issues that cause employees to consider forming a union and address those directly in personnel policies and human resource management techniques to avoid disgruntled employees.  This is the best way to avoid the consequences of these expedited election procedures.