Hallelujah! On April 14, 2015 the National Labor Relation Board’s new union election rules take effect. While some management lawyers call them “ambush election” rules, these rules provide important safeguards of employees’ rights to organize and bargain collectively – just as Congress intended when it passed the National Labor Relations Act.
The new rules streamline the union election process. Starting next month, most union representation elections must be held ten (10) to twenty-one (21) days after an election petition has been filed. This will curb abuses by zealous employers trying to railroad the election process in order to interfere with employees’ freedom of choice. The new rules also put off disputes over voter eligibility until after the election, expedite pre-election hearings, and require employers to provide greater union access to employee contact information.
Watch for more unions across the country engaging in greater organizing efforts. The new rules should result in sizeable increases in union participation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, apart from the benefits of wage and benefit bargaining, perhaps the best result for employees who gain union protection is job security. Newly unionized employees will shed their employment-at-will status, which translates into greater protection of their livelihoods.
You can learn more about changes implemented by the NLRB in its Fact Sheet on the subject.