In a memorandum released today to all National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Directors, the Board’s Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon outlined the new procedures governing “quickie election” procedures that, barring a last minute court ruling, will go into effect on Monday, April 30. The new election rules will shorten the time between the filing of an NLRB representation petition and the conduct of a union representation election. We covered these rules in detail when the Board announced them controversially back in December 2011.
In today’s memorandum, the General Counsel told the Regional Directors that “[w]hile these guidelines present challenges with regard to their implementation, they also provide opportunities for us to fully effectuate the policies and purposes of the Act, as they relate to the representation process.” The memorandum outlines the changes to the existing election procedures and provides detailed instructions to the Board’s regional offices on how to process representation petitions filed after the new rules take effect.
The Board also released some Frequently Asked Questions for the public that explain the new procedures in more detail. Notably, although the Board was silent on the subject, the FAQs clarify that the quickie election rules would apply only to cases filed on or after April 30, and not to cases filed before that date.
Earlier this week, the Senate debated and rejected Senate Joint Resolution 36, a Resolution of Disapproval aimed at prohibiting the Board from implementing the new rules. The Senate rejected the resolution by a vote of 54-45, and President Obama had threatened to veto the resolution if it passed the Senate.
The new election rules will become effective April 30, 2012, barring a ruling on pending motions in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s lawsuit against the NLRB. Employers must follow this litigation closely, as we expect that the court will issue some kind of ruling by Monday, if not sooner.