December 30, 2011
National Labor Relations Board Amends Election Process
by Jim Guttmann, SPHR
Although Unions were not successful in getting Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently stepped forward to issue final rules that may have a significant bearing on union organizing efforts. The final rule, effective April 30, 2012, amends the Board’s election procedures. The NLRB’s stated purpose for this change in election procedures is to reduce unnecessary litigation and delays in the representation election process. For an overview of these procedural changes, click here
Why are these procedural changes significant? Under the old procedures, the median period of time from when a union filed a petition for representation at a given worksite to the subsequent election by employees took 38 days. Under the new procedures, most directed elections will occur within 15-20 days of the date of the petition.
Some employers (and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) are opposed to this significant shortening of the “campaign period” because they believe that it doesn’t afford companies enough time to tell their side of the story to employees as to why they don’t need a union to represent them. They are disturbed by this NLRB initiative and have referred to this new ruling as the “ambush election rule”. Efforts are already underway by some organizations to block the new regulation from going into effect on April 30th.
We will keep you apprised as to how this situation plays out in the months ahead.
- Jim Guttmann, SPHR
As a Landrum Professional Human Resources Manager, Jim is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and has over 20 years of HR generalist experience for a large government contractor and Fortune 500 Company. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Florida State University and is an active member of the Greater Pensacola Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management (GPCSHRM), previously serving as their Vice President of Information Services and Chairman of the Workplace Diversity Committee. Jim is also certified as a County Mediator and in the administration of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
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