In December of 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued new regulations that govern how union representation elections will be conducted. The new rules are set to become effective on April 14, 2015. Although the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and business groups are challenging the new regulations, Employers should pay careful attention to the new rules because the rules will require Employers to act much more quickly and to be proactive when responding to a union organizing campaign and subsequent election. This blog post highlights key aspects of the new rules.
In their dissent to the National Labor Relations Board’s Register-Guard decision, Board Members Liebman and Walsh classically stated that “the NLRB has become the ‘Rip Van Winkle of administrative agencies. Only a Board that has been asleep for the past 20 years could . . . contend, as the majority does, that an e-mail system is a piece of communications equipment to be treated just as the law treats bulletin boards, telephones, and pieces of scrap paper.” See 351 NLRB 1110, 1121 (2007). After a seven year slumber, the Board has awoken and is attempting to get with the times. See Purple Commc’ns, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 126 (2014). A 3-2 majority of the Board adopted the logic of Liebman and Walsh’s dissent and overruled what many believed to be a canonical case on the balance between employees’ Section 7 rights and employers’ property rights.