In Employer Ambushed by Labor Board’s New Election Rule, we reported that a National Labor Relations Board Hearing Officer decided that Danbury Hospital had not complied with its obligation under the NLRB’s new “quickie election” rule to provide the union which had petitioned to represent approximately 850 of the Hospital’s non-professional employees with “available” personal cell phone numbers and personal email addresses. As a result, the Hearing Officer recommended a re-run election. Now, on appeal, the NLRB Regional Director for Region One has affirmed the Hearing Officer’s decision. Danbury Hospital of the Western Connecticut Health Network, Case 01-RC-153086 (Oct. 16, 2015).
The Hearing Officer concluded that the voter list submitted by the Hospital did not substantially comply with the NLRB’s requirement that the Hospital provide “available” personal cell phone numbers and personal email addresses. She found the Hospital should have exercised at least a “reasonable amount of diligence” in compiling voter contact information — the Hospital searched only a single Human Resources database for the voter list information rather than seeking to supplement that information from other Hospital sources, such as the Nursing Department’s database, where it stored contact information for employees working on nursing units.
Both the Hearing Officer’s and Regional Director’s decisions are non-precedential. The Hospital has the right to file an additional appeal — a “Request for Review” — with the NLRB in Washington, by October 30. If the Request for Review is granted and the Regional Director’s decision affirmed, the decision will be binding.
We will keep you informed about the progress of this very important case. In the meantime, employers faced with complying with the new election rule should exercise good faith and diligence in searching for and providing a petitioning union with as much voter contact information as they reasonably can find.