The Regional Director of Region 1 of the NLRB (covering most of New England) has ordered a new election among employees of the Danbury (Connecticut) Hospital because of the hospital’s alleged failure to comply with the new “contact information” requirement under the NLRB’s new election rules. The union lost the first election 390-346, and filed objections. According to the Regional Director’s ruling, the hospital failed to satisfy the requirement under Board rules that it act in good faith to supply a voter list containing contact information for eligible voters, including available email addresses and home and cell telephone numbers. (Under the rules, this information must be provided within two days of the direction of election.)
The hospital timely supplied a list, but it provided only what was in its human resources information system, which consisted of telephone numbers for 94 percent of the eligible voters and email addresses. The hospital did not check or supply contact information from other lists, including a “unit staff” phone list, an emergency department list of email addresses, or its applicant tracking system. The hospital argued that it substantially complied and that the union failed to show that any other information was available, but to no avail. The Regional Director found that a single database search did not satisfy the new NLRB rules and that the union could not be expected to produce evidence regarding information that was available but missing.
The moral of the story – employers need to do their best to provide all contact information that they can reasonably gather from all sources. The NLRB in Washington, D.C., may ultimately review the decision, but it is unlikely to give an employer a break when it comes to list preparation.