The General Counsel’s office of the NLRB issued a memo this week setting forth its position on a variety of different matters as to the new rules and regulations regarding the election process which will be effective April 14, 2015. These are the first major changes in the election process since the 1930’s and they will be significant. Most importantly, the timeline from the point of the filing of a petition to holding an election is greatly compressed. In theory, there could be an election conducted as soon as seventeen days after the petition is filed with the Agency. Indeed, the General Counsel’s office has indicated to the Regional Offices that they expect elections to proceed (either by stipulation or post hearing) in the seventeen day to thirty day time frame. The latter number reflecting those situations in which there is a hearing held and there needs to be a ruling by the Regional office.
The General Counsel’s office will strictly monitor this election timeframe to ensure that the Regions are moving in an expeditious fashion. Accordingly, the opportunity for employers to engage in pre-election campaigning will be extremely limited, which was the goal of the trade associations when they pushed this forward through the current administration.
No doubt there will be a lot of fumbling in the beginning stages of the process as the new procedures are put in place, as well as litigation over the Board’s interpretation and application of these new rules. As those issues become clarified or become topics of litigation, we will advise you of their status.