The National Labor Relations Board has passed a new union election rule. The new rule will alter labor union laws, making it easier and quicker for employees to hold unionization elections.
The rules are set to go into effect on April 30. That is, if they survive a legal challenge filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
What should employers know about the new union rule?
Generally, it will make it easier and faster for employees to vote on unionization. The NLRB said the rule reduces delays and frivolous litigation that often stalled votes.
Specifically, the new rule employers will need to postpone legal challenges. They will have to wait until after employees vote in an election, The New York Times reports. Then they can bring a case. Oftentimes, employers brought challenges before votes were cast. In many cases these challenges called into question which employees were eligible to vote in the first place.
That is why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace have sued. They call the NLRB's new rule an "ambush election rule." They cite to the fact that it will be difficult for employers to respond to unionization campaigns.
This is especially true for small businesses that may not have many resources. Unionized employees can mean sweeping changes.
There are also additional ramifications. Employers will not be able to adequately inform their employees of union fees, argues the Chamber of Commerce. They also won't be able to present their sides. If implemented, the Chamber claims employees will only get information from unions.
Regardless, employers should brace themselves for the new union election rules. It's unclear if the Chamber of Commerce will prevail in court. And for a business, running afoul of any labor union law is detrimental.
- Union-Election Rule Will Begin April 30, Labor Board Says (Bloomberg)
- Unions (FindLaw)
- Can My Employees Form a Union? (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)
- Labor Unions: How to Start a Union (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)