Will Your Company Have an Election to Vote on Union Representation? New Workplace Election Rules From the NLRB Take Effect April 14, 2015.

The new National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) election rules change a process that has existed for years.  Unions are waiting for April 14 to file election petitions.  Employers should take steps to understand the new rules and to be prepared to respond.

The NLRB will require posting of a notice to employees within two days of an election petition.

Employers must provide a statement of position within seven days of the filing of an election petition.  The statement must provide significant information on the company and its position.   Failure to file a statement in timely fashion may preclude the company from raising issues in litigation related to the election.

The NLRB will hold a hearing on the eighth day after an election petition is filed unless the parties have agreed on election terms.  If a hearing is held, the local NLRB director will have authority to determine the date, time, and place for employees to vote.

Once election arrangements are made, employers will have a tight timeframe in which to provide a list of voters along with each listed employee’s home address, email address, home phone number, and cell phone number.

A union wins or loses the election depending on whether it has received a majority of the valid votes cast.  The election timeframe will be compressed compared to earlier rules, going from a range of 35-42 days under most recent guidelines to what is expected to be about 20-25 days.  NLRB officials have stated that it would be possible for a union to waive certain legal requirements and to have an election in as little as three days from the day an election petition is filed.

Employers’ rights to discuss these issues in litigation, before or after election, will be more limited than under prior rules.

It will be critical for employers to know their rights, to designate their management teams, and to educate both supervisors and employees on the new law and process.

Please contact us with any questions.

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