Important Regulatory Update - NLRB Representation Case Procedures
In December 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released a final rule amending the process by which employee petitions for collective bargaining representation are handled. This rulemaking was originally proposed in 2011 and adopted late that year, however it was later struck down in a legal challenge after the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that the rule was improperly adopted because the Board lacked a quorum at the time of voting. The Board regained a quorum in summer 2013, thereby allowing it to undertake this most recent rulemaking.
The main impact of the rule is to shorten the time period between the filing of a petition for representation and the secret-ballot election itself. This is accomplished by, among other measures, utilizing e-filing for the petition, “streamlining” pre- and post-election procedures, including new employee contact information in voter eligibility lists, and moving all election appeals to a post-election process. With regards to the contact information provided in an eligibility list, under the new rule, employers now need to supply employee telephone numbers, email addresses- where available, as well as employee work location, shift, and classification. Additionally, this information must be provided in electronic form and the time to for it to be furnished by the employer, absent a contrary agreement between the parties, decreases from 7 to 2 days.
A lawsuit has been filed challenging the final rule and WSWA will monitor these proceedings as the rule’s April 14, 2015 effective date approaches.