NLRB End-Run On The Deceased EFCA

Kegler Brown E-mployment Alert

President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board is giving unions much of what they failed to achieve through the ill-fated Employee Free Choice Act. As you’ll recall, the EFCA was a legislative proposal that would have eliminated secret ballot union elections, but which also would have streamlined and accelerated the union election process.

The NLRB announced that on June 23, 2011, it will publish a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.” The new rules amend existing NLRB regulations in at least two critical areas:

  • The new rules will significantly shorten the time between the filing of an election petition and the time the election is held. (The current average time period is 38 days); and
  • The new rules will defer or postpone most legal challenges to the election until after the election is held.

Business groups, along with the lone Republican member of the NLRB, have criticized the proposed rules as a thinly-disguised measure to deprive employers of a fair opportunity to communicate their views on unions and to have all sides of the union representation question adequately aired. Others see the proposed rule as a step in the Obama administration’s plan to force unionization on employers.

Vigilance for union activity and employee communication on workplace issues has always been important. Under the proposed rules, it will be critical.