The United States House of Representatives Education and The Workforce Committee held a hearing on July 7 on the topic of “Rushing Union Elections: Protecting the Interests of Big Labor at the Expense of Workers’ Free Choice.” Michael Lotito, a partner in the San Francisco office of Jackson Lewis LLP, was one of five witnesses to testify before the Committee. Mr. Lotito’s written testimony is available here.
The hearing addressed the National Labor Relations Board’s recently issued proposed rule changes that, if adopted, will drastically expedite the union election process. Among other things, the Board proposes the following changes to the current election process:
- Accelerate the initial hearing date following the filing of a representation petition;
- Mandate expansive pre-hearing discovery of issues;
- Significantly curtail the ability to litigate issues before an election;
- Eliminate the right to file post-hearing briefs;
- Bar pre-election requests to review regional decisions;
- Require lists of eligible voters be filed within only two days; and
- Provide the union with voters’ phone numbers, e-mail addresses.
Notably, approximately 95 percent of all representation elections are held in 56 days. The new procedures, if adopted, could shave 30 or more days. Under these changes, it appears elections could be held in slightly over three weeks (or possibly less) from the filing of a petition. For more information on the NLRB’s proposed rule, please see our article, Two Newly Proposed Agency Rules Threaten to Hamper Employer Communications before Union Elections.
Jackson Lewis LLP will be filing comments to the NLRB’s proposed rule on behalf of various employer associations. If you have any questions regarding the impact of this proposed rule on your organization or if your company or employer association wishes to have Jackson Lewis submit comments on its behalf, please do not hesitate to contact one of the attorneys listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you normally work.