Just one day after decimating employers’ ability to restrict employee use of email systems, the NLRB dealt another blow to employers on Friday when it approved new rules for the conduct of union representation elections – commonly referred to as the “quickie” or “ambush” election rules. The Board’s announcement today called the new rules an effort “to modernize and streamline the process.” However, the two Republican Board members dissenting from the rule change called it unnecessary, violative of worker privacy and an obstacle to workers making informed choices regarding unionization. Members Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson wrote in dissent that "[t]he final rule has become the Mount Everest of regulations: massive in scale and unforgiving in its effect." The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Dec. 15, and will take effect on April 14, 2015. Among others things, the new rule:
- Limits the subject matters to be considered in pre-election hearings, pushing to post-election hearings most objections concerning the election and the proposed unit;
- Requires employers to submit a Position Statement on all issues raised by the proposed bargaining unit seven days after receipt of the petition. Issues not raised then will be considered waived;
- Eliminates a previously-required 25-day period between the time an election is ordered and the election itself;
- Requires employers to furnish union organizers with all available personal email addresses and phone numbers of workers eligible to vote in a union election; and
- Provides for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents.