As a complimentary service to our clients, Barran Liebman LLP provides valuable Electronic Alerts that summarize new case law, statutes, and regulations that may impact your business.» Subscribe To E-Alerts
You may request permission to reprint a Barran Liebman Electronic Alerts by contacting Traci Ray by email or phone at 503-276-2115.
As a special service to our clients, Barran Liebman LLP provides valuable Electronic AlertsSM free of charge. The Electronic AlertsSM summarize new case law and statutes that may impact your business, and suggest methods to comply with new legal requirements.
If you would like a copy of an archived E-Alert emailed to you, please contact Traci Ray by email or phone at 503-276-2115.
By Kyle Abraham
On December 12, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") dealt employers facing union organizing a blow by adopting the controversial “quickie election” rule. The rule amends the pre-election procedures and processes for conducting a representation election to determine if employees want to be represented by a union. The new rule creates favorable conditions for union organizing, accelerates representation elections, and hampers employers’ legitimate efforts to educate its employees about union representation.
This new rule, which goes into effect on April 14, 2015, will amend the pre-election procedures and provide unions the option to file election petitions electronically. The new procedures require employers, within seven days after an election petition is filed, to provide unions with a list of employees eligible to vote, and the list must include the employees’ job classifications, shifts and work locations. The new procedures also require employers to provide unions with more detailed contact information on employees. Under the current rule, employers need only provide unions with the names and home addresses of employees within seven days after an election is ordered; however, the new rule requires employers to also provide employees’ phone numbers and email addresses within two days after an election is directed. These changes will give unions a new level of access to employees during the representation election campaign.
The new rule also changes the process for conducting a representation election, most significantly, by reducing the timeline for an election. After an election petition is filed, a NLRB Regional Director must determine whether or not an election should be held, and any party may appeal a Regional Director’s decision to the NLRB. Under the current process, the ordered election is delayed for a 25-day waiting period pending the appeal. Under the new rule, the election will be held without delay, and any appeal will be heard after the election. The practical impact of these changes is a shortened time between the election petition and the date of the representation election from 42 days or less, under the current process, to as little as 10 to 14 days, under the new process. The shorter timeline for an election reduces the employers’ opportunity to provide employees with information about union representation, and employees are left to only rely on information provided by unions.
The announcement of the “quickie election” rule was the second time last week the NLRB hit employer facing union organizing. The first blow came on when the NLRB issued its decision in Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 126, which provided workers the right to use their employers’ email systems to communicate with each other at work regarding union organizing. Together these NLRB decisions create more favorable conditions for unions to organize employees. In response to these changes, employers should consider being proactive on communicating with employees. Along with trainings on sexual harassment, bullying, workplace violence and other topics, non-union employers, especially those vulnerable to organizing, would be well served to consider adding employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act as part of the regular employee training program.