As we previously reported, on April 15, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board implemented new union election rules (Election Rules) that made sweeping changes to the Board’s proceedings for processing election petitions, holding hearings, and conducting secret-ballot elections. At the time the Election Rules took effect, legal challenges to the Election Rules were pending in the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Western District of Texas.
On June 1, 2015, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas issued its decision in Associated Builders & Contractors of Tex., Inc. v. NLRB, Case No. 1:15-cv-0026 (W.D. Tex.), rejecting all of the building associations’ challenges to the Election Rules. While another case—Chamber of Commerce et al. v. NLRB, No. 15-cv-00009 (D.D.C. filed January 5, 2015—is still pending, given this ruling in favor of the NLRB upholding the new Election Rules, the court’s decision in Associated Builders & Contractors of Texas is likely to lead to an increase in organizing activity in the coming months, as unions that were awaiting resolution of the legal challenges to the Election Rules resume or step up their organizing efforts. Since the Election Rules took effect, the median time from petition to election has been reduced to 23 days, and the number of petitions filed in the month after the Election Rules went into effect increased by 32 percent. We will continue to monitor this issue and report on it as it develops.
Proactive employers, it is important to prepare for the impact that the new Election Rules will have on your organization.