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Latest News - December 2014

December 19, 2014
National Labor Relations Board Issues Final Ambush Rule Shortening Union Election Process
Source: ACCA
By: Charlie McCrudden

On December 15, the National Labor Relations Board issued a Final Rule modifying the rules governing the formation of collective-bargaining relationships between employers and groups of employees. Also known as the Ambush Election Rule, the Final Rule will dramatically change union representation elections in the workplace. The rule becomes effective on April 14, 2015.

The Ambush Election Rule pertains to the chain of events when employees initially organize to select a union to serve as their collective bargaining agent to the official union election to the negotiations for a first contract. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) specifies a timeframe for each of these milestones.

As a result of the Ambush Election rule, the time period between the time an election is ordered and the time an election is held may be reduced to as few as 15 days from the current median time of 38 days. This accelerated schedule effectively restricts communication between employers and employees prior to a union election, leaving employees without access to important information before they vote. Elections will now be held at the earliest date possible, limiting the employer’s due process.


There are other key changes to the NLRA:

  • Requires that all pre-election hearings be set to begin within 8 days after a hearing notice is issued.
  • Mandates that employers file a “Statement of Position” by noon on the day before the hearing begins.  The Statement of Position must include a list of prospective voters with their names, job classifications, work shifts, and work locations.
  • Provides Regional Directors with discretion to limit the scope of pre-election hearings, by excluding evidence on voter eligibility and delaying the resolution of those issues until after the election.
  • Requires an employer to provide, within 2 business days of the election agreement or decision directing an election, employee personal telephone numbers and personal email addresses.

The NLRB issued changes to the organizing and election process rules in April 2012. Less than a month later, those rules were withdrawn after being struck down on procedural grounds by a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. This latest of the Ambush Election Rule is more sweeping in scope than the 2012 version.

Legal challenges to this new Ambush Election Rule are forthcoming. ACCA is an active member of theCoalition for a Democratic Workplace, a broad coalition of more than 600 organizations representing millions of businesses that employ hundreds of millions of employees nationwide in nearly every industry. CDW members are joined by their mutual concern over recent actions by the NLRB, which threaten entrepreneurs, other employers, employees and economic growth. The CDW, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation and several other national associations are planning on filing suit to the Ambush Election Rule in early January, 2015. The National Federation of Independent Business, Associated Builders and Contractors and several local associations will file a separate suit.



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