"Quickie Elections" Rule Proposed Again by NLRB

February, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has once again proposed the so called "Quickie Election" rule which would make it much easier for employees to unionize. The key provision of the rule would shorten the timeframe between the filing of the petition to organize and the union election to as few as 10 days. Currently, most elections occur between 45 and 60 days after the petition is filed. The proposed rule is virtually identical to the rule originally proposed in 2011. That rule was dismissed in late 2013 due to a lack of quorum on the NLRB.

According to the NLRB's announcement the proposed rules would:

  • "Allow for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents;
  • Ensure that employees, employers and unions receive and exchange timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process;
  • Streamline pre- and post-election procedures to facilitate agreement and eliminate unnecessary litigation;
  • Include telephone numbers and email addresses in voter lists to enable parties to the election to be able to communicate with voters using modern technology; and
  • Consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single post-election appeals process."

The real concern is that the shortened timeframe would negatively impact an employer's ability to effectively respond and educate employees about how unionizing would truly impact their employment. The result may be that unions will win a significantly greater number of campaigns (they already win about 65%) because employees may only be hearing one side of the story before the election. Without being fully informed, employees may vote in a manner that is not in their own best interest.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on February 6, 2014 and is currently open for public comment through April 7, 2014. Cascade will continue to watch this issue and keep you updated as it unfolds.


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