Many employers are breathing a sigh of relief now that the so-called Employee Free Choice Act — which would permit employees to unionize through a simple card check procedure rather than a secret-ballot election — will not become law this year. And even if EFCA eventually is passed, it now appears that the "card check" provision will not be part of the law, although onerous interest arbitration requirements still may be included.
But even without EFCA, changes loom on the horizon that could have more far-reaching consequences for employers. The National Labor Relations Board, which administers national labor policy under the aegis of the National Labor Relations Act, is about to undergo a dramatic metamorphosis.
We are at the dawn of a new era for labor relations in this country. Employers will need to train managers to anticipate and prepare for an openly pro-union National Labor Relations Board as unions seek to capture a larger share of the American work force.
This article appeared in the January 15, 2010 issue of the Dallas Business Journal.