National Labor Relations Board

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National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
A few days ago, there was a vote on a controversial policy to permit changing workplace election rules regarding votes on union representation. The proposed rule at issue was the shortening of the amount of time between a union filing a petition to hold an election for union representation and the actual vote. While the vote was heavily favored by union and labor lobbyists, it was opposed by most business groups. Because most employers do not hear about the vote until they are notified by the NLRB, the shortening of the amount of time between the petition and the actual vote is very important. Each side has many important actions to take prior to an election.

In terms of the union organizers, there is much that they need to do prior to the election. Before the vote can even happen, the union must collect authorization cards from 30 percent of the employees (saying they agree to be in a union). The union must then file a petition with the NLRB who becomes the referee in the process. Once this is done, the employer is notified to address any issues raised by the petition, such as the legitimacy of the petition signatures, which employees to include in the proposed bargaining unit, and so forth. The union must then prove there is an adequate showing of interest for the union (usually done with authorization cards). This is the most important thing the union must do before an election. If the union cannot gather enough interest from employees, then the petition is dismissed and the election will not happen.

The time between the petition and vote really comes into play with the employers. In most cases, the employers do not know about the petition and vote until they hear about it from the NLRB. There is much the employer must do if they want to fight the union and therefore the less time they have to deal with the matter, the less likely they are to win the case. Before the vote, the employer may challenge the showing of...
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