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U.S. House Takes Action Against NLRB Rulings

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 3094) on Nov. 30 by a vote of 235-188.  The legislation was filed to specifically address the National Labor Relations Board’s proposed rule regarding “quickie” elections and their recent decision in the Specialty Healthcare case.

According to the House committee with oversight of the bill, the legislation if passed into law, will:

  1. Ensure employers are able to participate in a fairer union election process. The legislation provides employers at least 14 days to prepare their case to present before a NLRB election officer and an opportunity to raise additional concerns throughout the pre-election hearing.
  2. Guarantees workers have the ability to make a fully informed decision in a union election. No union election will be held in less than 35 days. Workers will have a chance to hear both sides of the debate and important issues that can determine how a worker votes will be decided before ballots are cast.
  3. Reinstates the traditional standard for determining which employees will vote in the union election, restoring a standard that was developed through years of careful consideration and Congressional guidance.
  4. Protects workers’ privacy by empowering workers to choose the type of personal contact information that is provided to the union.

In June, the NLRB issued a proposed notice of rulemaking that will significantly change procedures that govern union elections.  The NLRB’s “quickie” election proposal includes provisions that will provide employers just seven days to find legal counsel and prepare their case before an NLRB hearing officer regarding pre-election issues; provides for union elections to occur in as little as 10 days after a petition has been presented; and requires employers to provide unions with personal information about employees including home or cell phone numbers, personal e-mail addresses and work schedules.

The NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare decision allows unions to carve out single job units within a workplace allowing employees who have common or comparable duties, qualifications and interests to be separated for organizing purposes.  This allows organized labor the ability to establish unions with a minority of support from employees within a workplace.

“The NLRB continues to advance a radical agenda through proposed rules and recent decisions to allow unions easier ways to organize workplaces while trampling the rights of workers and employers”, said ALFA President & CEO Richard P. Grimes.  “ALFA applauds Congressman Kline and all members of the House who supported this good legislation that addresses two toxic initiatives that harm employees and employers and hinders America’s ability to create much needed jobs.”

ALFA and a number of trade associations and businesses have worked collaboratively through the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace to oppose the NLRB’s recent decisions.  ALFA will continue its participation in these efforts including advocating for U.S. Senate passage of the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act.

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