What do I need to know about the NLRB's new (ambush) election rule?
There are many things, but two should be prioritized.
First, you need to know that this new rule is set to take effect on April 14, 2015. Before it does there are legal challenges that still need to be played out. Previous legal challenges years ago (when the NLRB attempted this same rule change) were tossed on a technicality. Undeterred, the NLRB overcame the technicality on December 15, 2014, to issue the election rule anew. The Senate tried unsuccessfully as well to block the rule, but met an (obvious) veto from the President. So, prepare, but cross your fingers that legal challenges put the new rule on hold.
Second, you need to start preparing for faster elections. The new election rule will introduce several changes to the election process, all which make it more convenient to seek an election, eliminate some of the legal issues that employers can raise through their attorneys, increase the amount of information provided on the voters to the union by the company, and make it easier for unions to catch employers unawares. Communication with employees is key. Knowing when a union is organizing is now more important than ever before if you want to have a chance at countering their efforts with your company's message. Under the new rule elections could occur in as little as 11 days. Having a response and legal strategy in place beforehand is mandatory due diligence and necessary for most every employer if you want any reasonable chance to counter-organize once an election petition is filed.
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