COVID-19’s impact on workplace matters continues to broaden. The National Labor Relations Board, which has jurisdiction over most private sector employers, announced on Thursday that all union elections within its purview are suspended for two weeks. Importantly, the suspension applies to both in-person and mail-in voting.
The Board implemented the freeze due to concerns over its ability to conduct elections safely and effectively amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The NLRB recently closed five regional offices to date (Cleveland, New Orleans, Manhattan, Detroit, and Chicago) after workers at those branches may have been exposed to coronavirus. The Board also closed its headquarters in Washington, D.C. after an employee there had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Board has indicated that its freeze on elections may be extended, depending on how the COVID-19 situation develops over the next two weeks. For now, any union elections under the NLRB’s jurisdiction that were set to take place between March 19 and April 2, 2020, will be postponed and no elections will be scheduled during that time frame.
If you have any questions about the effects of the NLRB’s temporary suspension of elections, contact any member of our Labor & Employment Group.