In preparation for the NLRB’s new “quickie election” rules going into effect next week, the NLRB General Counsel yesterday published a 36-page Guidance Memorandum intended to explain how representation cases will be processed under the NLRB’s final rule. While the lengthy memorandum describes specific changes to Board procedures in great detail, it leaves unanswered significant questions such as how Regional Directors will process petitions on a “real world” basis, what opportunities employers are left with to challenge bargaining unit compositions, and ultimately, whether the NLRB’s “quickie elections” result in significantly shorter election time periods. Indeed, the GC acknowledges that the Board “will not be able to fully assess what impact the rule will have” until after it begins processing representation petitions. The GC instead directs the NLRB’s Regional Directors to “continue to process representation petitions and conduct elections expeditiously” consistent with the Board’s revised rules.
What seems certain is that employers should prepare themselves for implementation of the Board’s new regulations on April 14th. Last week President Obama vetoed a congressional resolution to disapprove the final rules, and while two pending federal cases challenge the Board’s statutory authority to publish the revised rules, it remains unlikely any such legal challenge will delay the Board’s implementation of its final rule next week.