In an effort to counter the Employee Free Choice Act, last week Congressional Republicans introduced their own bill, the Secret Ballot Protection Act, which would secure employees' right to a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (Board). As it currently exists, the National Labor Relations Act (Act) grants exclusive representation of employees to the union "designated or selected" by the majority of employees. However, the Act articulates no defined process for how the union is to be "designated or selected." The Secret Ballot Protection Act would amend the Act by requiring the union to be designated or selected by a secret ballot election.
The Secret Ballot Protection Act directly opposes the Employee Free Choice Act, which would require the Board to certify a union if a majority of employees signed union authorization cards.
Instead, the Secret Ballot Protection Act would make it an unfair labor practice for an employer to recognize or bargain with a union that has not been selected by a majority of employees in a secret ballot election conducted by the Board. Similarly, a union would commit an unfair labor practice by causing or attempting to cause an employer to recognize or bargain with a union which has not been selected by a majority of employees in a Board conducted secret ballot election