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NLRB Prevails In Federal Lawsuits Over "Ambush Election Rules"

Volume 14, Issue 16
July 31, 2015

It looks like the new "ambush election rules" are here for the foreseeable future. On Wednesday, July 29, 2015, a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C. rejected the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups' challenge to the current rules used by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to process union representation petitions. The judge found no evidence that the NLRB abused its discretion in issuing its new union election rules or violated employers' constitutional rights.

The decision follows on the heels of a June 1, 2015 decision by a Texas federal district court judge in a similar suit brought by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas, Inc., and others, who upheld the new union election rules and granted final judgment in favor of the NLRB. The plaintiffs in the Texas lawsuit have already filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The NLRB's current union election rules went into effect on April 14, 2015 and alter nearly every stage of the union election process. Now union elections can be held in as few as 11 to 14 days after a union representation petition is filed with the NLRB, down from an average of 38 days under the NLRB's previous procedures.

Given the dismissal of both lawsuits, employers are faced with the reality of having to contend with the NLRB's union-friendly election rules. While there is a chance the plaintiffs in the two lawsuits against the NLRB may have some success on appeal or obtain review by the U.S. Supreme Court, no final resolution will be reached in the near future. Thus, employers need to take steps to prepare now before being faced with a union election petition.

Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.