HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

That Was Fast: Court Voids NLRB “Quickie” Union-Election Rules

NLRB

By Eric B. Meyer

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is hot!

How hot is the Chamber? Hotter than Paris Hilton humming an 80′s Buster Poindexter tune. (Actually, she abandoned her trademark exclamation “That’s Hot!” for “That’s Huge!”).

I teased it two weeks ago, the day after the NLRB’s election rules took effect, when I posted that the new rules may get derailed. Well, that’s what happened yesterday as a District of Columbia federal court ruled that the National Labor Relations Board lacked authority to implement its new “quickie” election rules. This on the heels of the Chamber winning an injunction against the NLRB’s union-rights poster requirement.

Court cites Woody Allen

And why did the NLRB lack authority to implement these rules? The DC court explains by citing Woody Allen:

According to Woody Allen, 80 percent of life is just showing up. When it comes to satisfying a quorum requirement, though, showing up is even more important than that. Indeed, it is the only thing that matters — even when the quorum is constituted electronically. In this case, because no quorum ever existed for the pivotal vote in question, the Court must hold that the challenged rule is invalid.”

Put simply, it takes three Board members for the Board to do business. So says the U.S. Supreme Court in New Process Steel, L.P. v. NLRB. As to the new election rules, the DC court recognized that the Board only had two members participating in approving a final version of the rule. So, those rules don’t count.

Expect this decision to be appealed. In the meantime, the new quickie election rules get tabled.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.

Eric B. Meyer is a partner in the Labor and Employment Group of the Philadelphia-based law firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP . He dedicates his practice to litigating and assisting employers on labor and employment issues affecting the workplace, including collective bargaining, discrimination, employee handbook policies, enforcement of restrictive covenants, and trade secret protection. Eric also serves as a volunteer mediator for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact him at emeyer@dilworthlaw.com .

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