On June 11, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision upholding the NLRB’s “quickie elections” rule, which took effect on April 14, 2015. Employer groups in the case, Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas, Inc. v. NLRB, had challenged the rule on various grounds. The Fifth Circuit panel found that the NLRB had identified an evidentiary basis for its rule and “acted rationally and in furtherance of its congressional mandate in adopting the rule.” A federal district court in the District of Columbia reached the same result in July 2015.
Thus, it appears that the quickie elections rule is alive and well. The rule is credited with bringing the average time between representation petition and election down from approximately 38 days to 24 days, giving most employers less time to respond to union petitions. This shortened time period in combination with the NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare decision, which allows unions to pick “most-attractive” groupings for successful organizing, tilts the playing field in the direction of organized labor, which continues to grasp for membership gains by using the political process to affect policy at the NLRB. Employers and employees who desire an informed electorate, rather than one voting based strictly on emotions or unattainable promises, will want to stay out in front of union petitions with accurate information and lawful communication.