Tuesday, June 21, 2011
The NLRB just announced today that it is published several proposed election rules. They're potentially a big deal. The NLRB announcement provides links to the full proposed rules and Chairwoman Leibman's statement (you can also see Steven Greenhouse's take on them in the New York Times here). The proposals would, according to the Board:
- Allow for electronic filing of election petitions and other documents.
- Ensure that employees, employers and unions receive and exchange timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process.
- Standardize timeframes for parties to resolve or litigate issues before and after elections.
- Require parties to identify issues and describe evidence soon after an election petition is filed to facilitate resolution and eliminate unnecessary litigation.
- Defer litigation of most voter eligibility issues until after the election.
- Require employers to provide a final voter list in electronic form soon after the scheduling of an election, including voters’ telephone numbers and email addresses when available.
- Consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single post-election appeals process and thereby eliminate delay in holding elections currently attributable to the possibility of pre-election appeals.
- Make Board review of post-election decisions discretionary rather than mandatory.
As I've argued before, some of these--like providing email address for the Excelsior list--are no-brainers and shouldn't be controversial (that's "should be" not "won't be"). Others are likely to create more of a fuss, especially given the Boeing case. The attempt to streamline the election process--pushing challenges to the post-election period is particularly significant--could significantly reduce the critical period after an election petition is filed and the election is held. This, of course, is the time where employers can aggressively fight the union campaign, often with success. What's interesting is that the rules could move the Board closer to the "quick election" proposals that came out of the EFCA debate and are used in some provinces in Canada.
Stay tuned . . . .
Hat tip: Dennis Walsh