The NLRB just made it easier for employees to unionize – but two business groups have already filed suit challenging the new rules.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has formally amended its election rules, which, among other things, will speed up the time between when a workforce decides to hold a union election and when an election can be held.
In the past, there was a minimum time period of 25 days between the decision to hold an election about forming a union and the actual election itself. Firms would typically use that time to educate employees about the effects unionization would have on the workplace.
The new amendments, which according to the NLRB were adopted to “reduce unnecessary litigation and delays,” reduce that time to as little as seven days, giving employers very little time to respond to unionization threats.
The new rules will go into effect April 30, except …
Business groups fight back
Before you could bat an eye, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace filed suit against the NLRB challenging the agency’s new rule.
The groups claim that the “ambush election rule” will make it more difficult for companies — especially smaller firms — to respond to union campaigns:
…the National Labor Relations Board’s final “ambush election rule” imposes unprecedented and sweeping changes to the procedures for conducting workplace elections to determine whether employees do or do not wish to unionize. The rule drastically speeds up the election process, depriving employers of a fair opportunity to explain to employees the costs of unionizing and curbing employers’ opportunities to bring legal challenges to proposed representation elections.
We’ll keep you posted.
Note: This article previously referred to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a federal agency in error.