Details on the new NLRB changes

NLRB NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING:

Procedural changes to the NLRB Representation Process.

These proposals are designed to ensure a fair process for workers who want to vote on whether to form a union. By cleaning up and modernizing a system paralyzed by delays, bureaucracy, and wasteful litigation, the proposed changes aim to provide stability and a level playing field. 

  • Reduces opportunities for unnecessary delays and wasteful litigation:
    • Requires the parties to state their positions and make an offer of proof as to any issues they want to litigate or the issue is waived.
    • Discourages the litigation of frivolous and irrelevant issues by permitting litigation only if the offers of proof raise a genuine dispute as to a material fact.
    • Defers, until after workers have a chance to vote, litigation of eligibility issues which affect fewer than 20% of bargaining unit employees.
    • Provides for prompt and predictable scheduling of hearings, both pre-election (7 days) and post-election (14 days), if the parties cannot reach agreement.

 

  • Eliminates current chokepoints so workers who want to vote can vote:
  • Elections are scheduled “for the earliest date practicable.”
  • No Board review pre-election [eliminates the current 25 day waiting period to file an appeal].
  • Post-election Board review of Regional Director decisions is discretionary

 

  • Modernizes contact information currently required to be provided by the employer to the petitioning union:
    • Includes employees’ email addresses and phone numbers, if available, in order to encourage an informed electorate.
    • Adds work shifts, locations, and job classification, in order to facilitate prompt resolution of voter eligibility issues.
    • Requires electronic submission to the union, within 2 days instead of 7 (i.e., after the election agreement or direction or election).

 

  • Promotes the use of electronic technology to achieve economies of time and resources for the parties and the Board.

 

What the rule does not do:

  • Require that elections be held within a specific time period.
  • Deny opportunities for employers to communicate with workers 24/7 at work.
  • Incorporate any provisions of the Employee Free Choice Act. 
  • Fix inadequate, weak NLRB remedies or promote first contract bargaining.