Obama Vetoes Resolution Disapproving NLRB “Quickie” Election Rule

By Ilyse Wolens Schuman and Michael J. Lotito

As predicted, President Obama has vetoed S.J. Res. 8, a joint resolution of disapproval seeking to prevent enforcement of the National Labor Relations Board‘s so-called “quickie” or “ambush” election rule.

Under the Congressional Review Act, members of the House and Senate can vote in favor of nullifying federal agency rules by a simple majority vote. Both chambers readily approved this resolution in March.

Lawsuits have been filed to rescind the measure

By officially rejecting this measure, the President has taken “ownership” of the rule, at least from a political standpoint. In his memorandum disapproving of the resolution, the President states S.J. Res. 8:

Would overturn the National Labor Relations Board’s recently issued “representation case procedures” rule and block modest but overdue reforms to simplify and streamline private sector union elections. Accordingly, I am withholding my approval of this resolution.

The Presidential memorandum expressly supports the role of unions in the workplace:

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Workers need a strong voice in the workplace and the economy to protect and grow our Nation’s middle class. Unions have played a vital role in giving workers that voice, allowing workers to organize together for higher wages, better working conditions, and the benefits and protections that most workers take for granted today. Workers deserve a level playing field that lets them freely choose to make their voices heard, and this requires fair and streamlined procedures for determining whether to have unions as their bargaining representative. Because this resolution seeks to undermine a streamlined democratic process that allows American workers to freely choose to make their voices heard, I cannot support it.”

Although lawsuits have been filed to rescind the election rule, courts may not act before the rule’s April 14, 2015 effective date. Employers are therefore advised to prepare now for its implementation.

This was originally published on Littler Mendelson’s Workplace Policy Update blog© 2015 Littler Mendelson. All Rights Reserved. Littler®, Employment & Labor Law Solutions Worldwide® and ASAP® are registered trademarks of Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Ilyse W. Schuman is a shareholder in the Washington, D.C. office of Littler Mendelson. She provides strategic counsel and representation to clients on a broad array of workplace issues and developments in Congress and executive branch federal agencies.

She is a member of the firm's Government Affairs practice and works with employers in multiple industries, including trade associations. She also leads the firm's Legislative and Regulatory practice.

A former top congressional staffer and policy advisor, Ilyse worked on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions from 2001 to 2008, serving as minority staff director and chief counsel. She began her work in the Senate as chief labor counsel for Senator Mike Enzi on the Subcommittee on Employment, Safety and Training, where she led legislative and oversight activities.

After leaving the Senate, Schuman joined a leading trade association of electro-industry manufacturers as vice president, where she served as managing director of the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance, the collective voice of medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Additionally, she served as in-house counsel at a manufacturer and market and technology leader, where she advised the company on human resource matters. In law school, she was a member of the Journal of Law and Policy in International Business.