Earlier this week, we reported that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has proposed amended rules that would streamline the union election process, making it easier for employees to unionize. The regulations, which appeared in Wednesday’s Federal Register, firmly divide the pro- and antiunion factions, being lauded by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka as “a commonsense approach,” while U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits Randel Johnson summed the rules up as a “blatant attempt to give unions the upper hand.”
Michael Leahy, an associate with the Springfield, Massachusetts, law firm Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., also weighed in on the proposed rules, noting that “the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is not unexpected, but is unwelcome among management-side labor and employment attorneys.”
Leahy cautions that “the proposed elimination of preelection litigation is designed to enable unions to rush to an election, even if they do not have cards for an appropriate unit. The proposed requirement that employers provide unions with the personal phone numbers and e-mail addresses for nonsupervisory employees is a recipe for real voter intimidation. Meanwhile, the miniscule timeframes contained in the notice of proposed rulemaking are designed to deprive employers of their voice in the election process.”
For these reasons, it’s crucial for concerned employers to let their voices be heard now by participating in the public comment period, which is open through August 22. Interested parties can read the full regulations and submit comments on their contents. Comments also may be addressed to Lester Heltzer, Executive Secretary, NLRB, 1099 14th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20570.
Additionally, a public hearing on the rules will be held on July 18 and, if necessary, July 19.
Learn more about labor and union organizing in Mastering HR: Labor and Organizing
Michael Leahy will be further sharing his expertise on labor topics alongside Kevin McCormick, a partner with the Baltimore, Maryland, firm of Whiteford, Taylor, and Preston, LLP, in an upcoming HRhero.com webinar on September 18. For more details on this event, please check the HRHero store in the coming weeks.
Holly Jones, Managing Attorney Editor at BLR, has written and edited countless alerts, articles, newsletters, and manuals on various topics of labor and employment law. She is the editor of HR Guide to Employment Law: A Practical Compliance Reference, Fifty Employment Laws in Fifty States, and Employers State Law Alert, and she also serves as MLSP's in-house wage and hour expert, managing related products such as Wage & Hour Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR. Holly is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and a licensed attorney in the state of Tennessee.