CHA News Article

‘Quickie’ Union Election Rules Adopted by a Divided NLRB

Late last week, a divided National Labor Relations Board issued final rules and regulations governing union elections for private employers. The final rule, which was approved by a 3–2 vote along partisan lines, will become effective April 14, 2015. It is substantially similar to the amendments proposed in February 2014. Given its sweeping changes, the final rule is likely to be challenged by employers.

While the current rules provide for an election to be held approximately 42 days from the date a petition is filed, the final rule will shorten that time frame to as little as 10 days and require virtually all election-related disputed issues to be resolved after the election. Employers are also required to provide unions with expanded employee contact information earlier in the process. Ultimately, the final rule makes it more difficult for employers to communicate effectively with employees in the time frame between the filing of a petition with the board and the date of an election. The board has posted a fact sheet about the final rule on its website.

The two dissenting board members, both Republicans, criticized the final rule as unnecessary, fundamentally unfair and unreasonably technical.

Hospitals should consult with legal counsel with respect to the impact of the final rule on their organizations.