Union elections are officially in a state of flux. Just two weeks after becoming effective, a federal judge has tossed out the National Labor Relations Board's "quickie election rule." The rule, which business groups vehemently oppose, cuts the election timeline in half.
But instead of focusing on the substance of these changes, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia focused on a procedural technicality. The quickie election rule is invalid because the Board failed to follow proper voting protocols.
Board votes require a 3-member quorum, according to the Associated Press. At the time of the vote, there were only three sitting members. Though Republican member Brian Hayes had previously expressed opposition to the quickie election rule, Judge Boasberg found that he never actually participated in the final vote.
No formal vote, no quorum.
Judge Boasberg went on to invalidate the quickie election rule and clarified that the NLRB will continue to operate under prior rules. Bust as most commentators have noted, the NLRB, which now has 5 sitting members, can simply reconvene and revote.
However, this scenario is also marred by complications. The recent NLRB appointments are currently the subject of litigation, explains Businessweek. President Obama appointed the Board's latest members while the Senate was on break. The outcome of this litigation can possibly call these members' votes into question.
As such, the chances that the issues surrounding the quickie election rule will be resolved at any point soon seem to be slowly dwindling away.
- Judge Rejects New Rule on Union Organizing (Wall Street Journal)
- New NLRB 'Quickie Election' Rule for Unions Goes into Effect (FindLaw's In House)
- Justice Department Memo in Support of Obama's Recess Appointments (FindLaw's Courtside)