One of the most debated, publicized, and contentious issues in employment law in recent years has been the NLRB "quickie election" rule, which only allowed 20 days or so between the filing of the union election petition and the election itself. Unions felt that shortening the time period for an election would increase their chances of success, while employers complained that there was no time to inform employees of the other side of the story. Employers cited to political elections and the lengthy time periods necessary for the voters to understand the issues.
In December, the NLRB announced more than a dozen changes to the quickie election procedures. The changes include clarifications to procedures prior to an election that better insure the opportunity for litigation and resolution of unit scope and voter eligibility issues. The changes also permit parties additional time to comply with the various pre-election requirements instituted in 2014. The Board issued the procedural changes as a final rule pursuant to its authority to change its own representation case procedures. The final rule will be effective 120 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register, which is anticipated to be December 18, 2019. The NLRB's regulatory agenda says the Agency may roll out other amendments to the quickie election procedures next year.
Significantly, some of the changes extend the election process. All time periods will be calculated in business days, rather than calendar days under the quickie election rule. The dissenting Democrat on the Board states that: "With this rule, my colleagues claim the dubious distinction of becoming the first Board in the Agency's 84-year history to intentionally codify substantial delay in the representation case process, to the detriment of the mission of our Agency."
Because of the importance of the new rule, it will be more fully discussed in a subsequent newsletter. In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions or want a copy of the new rule.