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NLRB "Quickie" election rule under fire from business groups

January 08, 2015

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, and the Society for Human Resource Management have joined forces to challenge the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) “ambush” or “quickie” election rule adopted last month. (See our December 15, 2014 post for additional information about the rule.) A lawsuit challenging the final rule was filed on January 5, 2015 asserting that the NLRB overstepped its authority in approving the change.

The rule was introduced last February in an effort to “streamline” the union election process. The NLRB adopted the rule in December on a partisan 3–2 vote with the democrat-appointed members supporting the action and the republican-appointed members opposing. The new rule can be found in the Federal Register. The rule is set to become effective on April 14, 2015 if enforcement is not enjoined.

You may remember that this is a second go around on this topic. A federal court overturned a nearly identical NLRB rule a few years ago because the rule was adopted when the NLRB was operating without a legal quorum. That is not an issue in the current lawsuit.

The current lawsuit claims that implementation of the new “Quickie Election” rule would violate the First Amendment, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, and various sections of the National Labor Relations Act. The lawsuit claims that the rule interferes with an employer’s right to lawfully communicate with its employees and effectively restricts an employer’s ability to legally address unit description and employee eligibility questions.  The lawsuit seeks to vacate and set aside the rule and to enjoin the NLRB from implementing and applying it.  Subscribe to our posts to stay updated as the case progresses.

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