Quickie Election Resolution Adopted.  On November 30, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) held a meeting and took a vote on a slightly watered-down version of the controversial “Quickie Election” resolution proposed earlier this year.   By a 2-1 vote along party lines, with Republican Brian Hayes voting against the rule, the amended resolution was adopted in full.   A final rule will be drafted to reflect the adopted measures, and the remaining issues have been deferred for further consideration.
The adopted resolution is comprised of various procedural amendments, which the NLRB claims will reduce litigation in election cases but in actuality is designed to foster unionization in this country.  The amendments are as follows:

  • The first amendment will limit the scope of hearings in union representation matters.  Currently, parties have latitude to raise numerous issues in these hearings.  The new rule grants the hearing officer authority to limit the hearing and to decide whether post-hearing briefs are “necessary.” 
  • Currently, parties are able to file appeals to the Board both before and after a union election.   The new amendment will consolidate the two appeals into a single post-election appeal, and proposes to entirely eliminate addressing issues that have become moot as a result of the election.  The NLRB leaves a small door open for other appeals to be heard before the end of the election process, but parties must be granted special permission by demonstrating “extraordinary circumstances” to pursue such an appeal.
  • In keeping with its goal of limiting appeals and reviews, another amendment eliminates appeals that do not present “serious issues.”
  • Finally, the resolution eliminates the current requirements that a union vote cannot be held sooner than 25 days after the NLRB issues a Direction of Election.  Consequently, elections will likely be held sooner than they are currently being scheduled.

The “quickie election” that unions had sought and which engendered discussion that Member Hayes would resign from the Board so there would not be a quorum to pass these rules, was not adopted.
This resolution reminds us of how important it is to maintain a positive working environment.  Because employers will have significantly less time after a union files a representation petition to inform their employees of the consequences of union representation, employers should constantly be evaluating their work force policies to determine whether any issues should be addressed that might cause strained labor relations to occur.  I will continue to keep you informed as developments occur on this issue.