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Employment Blog

Turn Over the Voter List - You Have No Choice

Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Posted on February 21, 2014
Filed under Employment

We have written about the proposed "quickie election" rule being considered by the National Labor Relations Board which is designed to expedite a union election proceeding. Another element of the proposed Rule requires the employer to turn over a list of all individuals (names) that would be considered eligible to vote in the union election before the pre-election hearing starts. Under this new requirement, the employer must give the union a list of the names, work locations, work shifts, and classifications of employees in the bargaining unit that is being sought by the union. This is the earliest that an employer has ever been required to give information to the union about potential voters in the election. A failure to provide the information would preclude the employer from contesting any of the issues about appropriateness of the bargaining unit or eligibility of individuals to vote who are on such a list.

The proposed rule also requires the employer to provide both the NLRB and the union more information than ever required before and requires the information be provided within a period of two-days after a decision that calls for an election. The employer is required to provide the names, home addresses, work locations, shifts, and job classifications for the eligible voters as has been required in the past. However, the employer is also required to provide available phone numbers and e-mail addresses that are known for the election-eligible employees. Failure to provide this information would result in a union filling an objection to the election results if the results are unfavorable.

These two requirements again are designed to expedite the election process and provide far greater information to the union to assist it in campaigning for a positive vote in the election. With the providing of this information and the reduction in time to conduct an anti-union campaign, employers are at a significant disadvantage if a union files an election petition to seek representation of company employees. Employers must be ever vigilant about possible union organizing activities in order to avoid being caught in an "ambush election" by the union.