ALEXANDRIA, Va. – December 22, 2011 – In a 2-1 vote, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a final rule on union elections. The rule will shorten the time employees may learn about union membership before an election, grant the NLRB and its hearing officers significant latitude to decide election issues, and substantially limit an employer’s ability to appeal initial election hearing findings.
Dismissing reservations expressed by business, NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce and Member Craig Becker voted in favor of proceeding with publication of the final rule, while Member Brian Hayes voted against it. The final rule, championed by unions, will restrict or eliminate an employer’s right to challenge pre-election and post-election issues. This could limit an employee’s ability to make an informed decision when choosing if he or she wishes to be represented by a union. The rule, barring judicial action, becomes effective April 30, 2012.
“A fair elections process that unions, businesses and employees have agreed works the vast majority of the time has been unnecessarily altered to benefit union organizers,” said ALFA president and CEO Richard P. Grimes. “With this rule, the labor board continues to enable unions to organize workplaces at the expense of employee and employer rights.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace have filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge the rule.
“ALFA supports efforts questioning recent NLRB rulemaking,” said Grimes. “Employees have the right to vote against or for union representation. However, employees also have a right to understand why their employer might object and what the consequences and costs may be so they can weigh the facts. The new rule creates a ‘quickie’ election process that precludes this from happening.”
The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally-managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve. Since 1990, ALFA has advocated for choice, accessibility, independence, dignity, and quality of life for all seniors. ALFA’s programs promote business and operational excellence through education, research, publications, professional networking and online tools designed to foster innovation and entrepreneurism in the field of senior living. Visit ALFA’s Web site at alfa.org.
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Paul Williams, CAE, IOM
VP, Professional Development & Education