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Dec 15, 2014

By Eric B. Meyer

Cue the haters.

Following a decision earlier last week permitting employees to use company email to badmouth you and unionize, the National Labor Relations Board ended last week by passing a new rule, which, in its words, updated “its representation-case procedures to modernize and streamline the process for resolving representation disputes.”

In other words, faster union elections and more of ’em.

Here are details on this new rule and what employers can do about it:

What the NLRB ruling will do

According to the NLRB, this new rule will accomplish the following:

  • Provides for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents;
  • Ensures that employees, employers and unions receive timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process;
  • Eliminates or reduces unnecessary litigation, duplication and delay;
  • Adopts best practices and uniform procedures across regions;
  • Requires that additional contact information (personal telephone numbers and email addresses) be included in voter lists, to the extent that information is available to the employer, in order to enhance a fair and free exchange of ideas by permitting other parties to the election to communicate with voters about the election using modern technology; and
  • Allows parties to consolidate all election-related appeals to the NLRB into a single appeals process.

You can read more about the new rule here.

The new rule passed by a vote of 3-2. The two dissenters, Board members Henry Johnson III and Philip Miscimarra, blasted the new rule, calling it “the Mount Everest of regulations: massive in scale and unforgiving in its effect.”

What employers should do

Specifically, they pointed out that the rule’s “primary purpose and effect” is to create union elections as quickly as possible,” while undermining employee privacy and due process.

So, what steps are you taking to keep your workplace union free?

  • How are you keeping open lines of communication with your employees?
  • What are you doing to correct any employee dissatisfaction?
  • How will your managers respond to the scent of unionization?
  • What are those signs?

If you don’t want a union in your workplace, now is the time to consider union-avoidance training.

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

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