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NLRB ‘Quickie’ Votes Scrutinized

The National Labor Relations Board asked for public comment on potential changes to the Obama-Era board’s 2014 decision allowing unions to mount “quickie” or ambush organizing elections.

The Dec. 12 Request for Information asks for public input on whether the rule should be retained without change, modified or rescinded. If rescinded, the NLRB asks if it should go back to the pre-2014 rule or make changes to it.

In November the NLRB released research showing the quickie election rules substantially reduced the time allowed for employers to make their case.

Under the old rules, the median time from a union petition being filed to voting by employees was 38 days. For Fiscal Year 2017, the median time from petition to vote was 23 days – more than two full weeks shorter.

“In other words, that’s two weeks less time for companies to vet the issues giving rise to a petition and to implement a communications plan neutralizing those issues in order to remain union free,” says David Pryzbylski, an attorney with the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

Under the rules employers also are obliged to disclose employees’ phone numbers and email addresses to unions within a shortened timeframe.

Pryzbylski says employers should consider these strategies:

  • Conduct positive employee-relations training annually to make sure that management members treat employees fairly and with respect.
  • Ensure employees have multiple avenues for communicating concerns to the company.
  • Make sure personnel policies are up to date, keeping in mind that unlawful policies can cause an election victory by the employer to be reversed.

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