Yesterday, December 15, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board issued its Final Rule amending election procedures in what most observers are calling the “Quickie Election” Rule. Once the rule becomes effective in April, elections will be held approximately 10 to 21 days after a union election petition has been filed – with profound consequences for non-union employers.
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Mitt Romney recently drew criticism for commenting to the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB) that employers should weigh in on the upcoming election when speaking to employees. Specifically, Romney told NFIB members: “I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections.” Romney went on to say that there is “[n]othing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision and of course doing that with your family and your kids as well.” These comments likely had many HR professionals across the country asking, “Can employers really do that?”
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Back in December, we posted about the NLRB’s resolution to change union election procedures. Among other things, the pro-union rule shortened the time between the filing of an election petition and the date of the election, thereby making it more difficult for employers to communicate with employees prior to the vote. Following a vote on the final rule, the rule took effect on April 30, 2012. However, on May 14, 2012, the union election rule was held to be invalid.
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On December 23, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board announced that it had agreed to again postpone the effective date of its controversial Employee Notice Posting Rule. In the news release announcing the postponement, the Board confirmed that the postponement was agreed to at the request of a federal court in Washington, D.C., which is hearing one of the legal challenges to the Notice Posting requirement.

On October 6, 2011, we discussed the requirements of the Notice Posting Rule and the Board’s announcement that it was delaying the implementation date for the Notice Posting Rule until January 31, 2012. The Notice Posting Rule will now become effective on April 30, 2012, if the challenges to the Rule are unsuccessful.
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On November 30, 2011, by a vote of 2-1, a bitterly divided National Labor Relations Board (Board) resolved to move forward with some, but decidedly not all, of the procedural changes it had proposed on June 22. While the Board’s Democratic majority referenced its desire to reduce “unnecessary, expensive, and time-consuming litigation for the Board and all parties,” the dissenting Republican Member, and most observers, have more accurately described the measure as another effort to shorten the time from the filing of an election petition to the date of the election. This would make it more difficult for employers to communicate with employees prior to the vote, and make it easier for unions to win more elections (although unions are already winning elections at a historically high rate of around 70%!).
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Basic Provisions: EFCA amends the NLRA to change the procedures for union certification and first contract negotiation. The primary components of the act are as follows:

  • Allows NLRB certification of a relevant bargaining unit upon authorization card showing from 50% plus one of employees bypassing the NLRB-supervised secret ballot election.
  • Mandates initial collective bargaining contract be

One big frustration for union organizers is access to employees for the purpose of soliciting union authorization cards and peddling the union message. Sophisticated employers have no solicitation policies, which force union organizers out of the workplace and into the parking lots and homes of employees.

The primary barrier to union home visits is determining where