Twenty-Seven Day Elections (Or Less) Likely Under NLRB’s New Quickie Election Rules

The NLRB’s “quickie election” rule goes into effect today. And while the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has avoided a clearly mandated time frame for processing union representation petitions, employers can expect elections to be held just 27-days (or less) after petition filing under the NLRB’s new representation election rule.

In speaking to interested stakeholders during an informational training session held on April 7th, Peter Sung Ohr (“Ohr”), Regional Director of the NLRB’s Region 13, described a timeline whereby union petitions will be processed and served electronically on employers the same or next day after filing. Pre-election hearings will be scheduled eight days later, but absent significant questions concerning representation or jurisdiction, issues of individual employee eligibility will not be litigated or resolved pre-election. Assuming consecutive-day hearings, elimination of rights to file post-hearing briefs, and a three-day period for the receipt of hearing transcripts, it is likely that Regional Director hearing decisions and directions of election will issue within four-days of scheduled hearing dates.

The NLRB’s new election rule directs Regional Directors to schedule elections for the “earliest date practicable.” While an employer has two-days post-decision to provide the petitioning union a final voter eligibility list (containing employee names, work locations, shifts, job classifications, available home addresses, personal email address and home/personal cellphone numbers), the Regional Director could order an election held a few days afterwards, assuming the union is willing to waive a 10-day voter list review period.

The Board’s new election procedures are expected to shorten the average election period in contested cases from 42- to 27-days, with unions driving election timelines in individual cases. The NLRB will start applying its new election procedures to all petitions filed on and after April 14th. New representation case forms are now available on the NLRB’s website. Noncompliant employers risk waiver of rights to challenge petitioned-for bargaining units and overturned elections under the NLRB’s new election rule.

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