NLRB Extends Union Election Rule Comment Period
By Tammy Binford, Contributing Editor
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has extended the comment period on its recent proposed rule changes related to union representation elections.
The Board announced on October 4 it would accept comments through December 10, 2019. The previous deadline was October 11. The Board published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in August that proposes three amendments:
- A proposal to replace the current blocking charge policy with a vote-and-impound procedure. Current policy permits a party, usually a union, to block a representation election by filing unfair labor practice charges. The Board is proposing to adopt a vote-and-impound procedure whereby an election would be held regardless of whether a blocking charge and blocking request are pending, and the ballots would be impounded until a final determination is made about the charge and its effect on the election petition. The proposal is seen as an employer-friendly change.
- A return to the Dana Corp. rule relating to how quickly union representation can be challenged when an employer voluntarily recognizes a union. Currently, an employer’s voluntary recognition of a union immediately bars the filing of an election petition for no less than 6 months after the date of the parties’ first bargaining session and no more than 1 year after that date. The Board wants a change that would reestablish a notice requirement and 45-day open period for filing an election petition after an employer’s voluntary recognition of a union. Such a change also is seen as presenting a challenge to unions.
- A change relating to bargaining relationships in the construction industry. The proposed change is seen as making it harder for a union to show the support necessary to maintain a collective bargaining relationship.
Burton J. Fishman, an attorney with Fortney & Scott, LLC in Washington, D.C., says the extension of the comment period likely isn’t “a terribly important event.” In fact, the NLRB routinely extends comment periods.
The NLRB’s announcement says comments are invited on all aspects of the proposed rule and should be submitted either electronically to www.regulations.gov or by mail or hand-delivery to Roxanne Rothschild, Executive Secretary, National Labor Relations Board, 1015 Half St. E., Washington, D.C. 20570-0001.