On December 12, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a controversial final rule overhauling its procedures for union representation elections, commonly known as the “ambush” elections rule. The changes are currently scheduled to take effect on April 14, 2015, unless a court or Congress blocks enforcement of the new rule.

This long threatened rule has serious implications for all employers, but particularly those in the construction industry.  Essentially it makes it much easier for unions to “ambush” employers with a union election, and gives employers very little time to react. 

The shortened time period for union elections will place a premium on rapid response by employers to union organizing activity.  Employers are encouraged to speak with their labor counsel now about putting in place a rapid response plan for management because they may not get a second chance to prepare for sudden union organizing activity.

ABC has provided a guidance document for our members, click here for the document.  In January, our chapter legal counsel, Judd Lees with Williams Kastner, will be providing seminars about this new rule, along with other important labor law issues.  Our National legal counsel, Maury Baskin, will provide a webinar on the topic in January as well.

Next Steps:

ABC, as the Chair of the National group “Coalition for a Democratic Workplace” is leading the charge to file suit against the new rule, with legal action expected in the DC Circuit within the next two weeks.  Separately ABC and the NFIB will jointly file suit against the rule in Texas just after the new year.

Read more to learn the details about the new rule . . .

Under the final rule, the amount of time between a union filing a representation petition and an election taking place likely will be dramatically reduced from the current average of 38 days. The NLRB achieved this drastic reduction in time primarily by:

·         Combining pre- and post-election appeals;

·         Truncating pre- and post-hearing procedures (requiring that pre-election hearings begin within eight days and that post-election hearings be held within 14 days of the final tally of votes in the election);

·         Limiting the types of issues an employer can raise at a pre-election hearing (determining which employees are considered supervisors, and which employees constitute a potential bargaining “unit” are no longer permitted before the election takes place); and

·         Reducing the amount of time an employer is allotted to provide a list of eligible voters and increasing the amount of personal information that must be disclosed to unions.