On February 5, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), acting this time with a full quorum, reissued its highly controversial 2011 changes to representation election rules. The proposed changes are the same as those the NLRB presented in 2011. The rule changes would:
- radically speed the pace of representation elections,
- eliminate almost all pre-election challenges to voter eligibility, and
- effectively eliminate the ability of employers to communicate with employees prior to voting.
The proposed rules will be subject to a 60 day comment period, followed by a public hearing in April. The NLRB majority did not revisit the now stale, purported factual findings that led to the original proposed rule changes. These factual findings were extensively questioned in the prior comment period. Much of the purported employer “misconduct” cited was based not on the NLRB’s own case handling statistics, but on the reports of union organizers.
The NLRB claims that the new rules will stream-line the election process. On the contrary, these radical and unnecessary alterations to a process that has stood for over 75 years will likely result in extensive and costly litigation.