COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way representation elections are conducted.  From March 1 to November 16, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board issued 167 election decisions and, of those, only 2 manual elections have been directed to proceed in that time-frame.  This is a marked change in the Board’s longstanding preference for manual elections.  The overwhelming trend towards mail-in elections was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Continue Reading NLRB Provides Clarity On Pandemic-Related Circumstances Justifying Mail-In Elections

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the inherent risks in holding large gatherings of people, the prospect of mail ballot elections has recently received considerable national attention. Typically, this attention is focused on how mail ballot elections might affect voter turnout or election results in state and federal elections and whether it might benefit one party over the other.
Continue Reading Mail Ballot Elections: The New “Preferred Method” for Holding Union Representation Elections?

In a pending NLRB case, an employees’ rights advocacy group, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, filed an amicus brief supporting poultry plant workers seeking to decertify their union,  the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, even though there was a collective bargaining agreement in place between the UFCW and their employer.
Continue Reading The Contract Bar Doctrine: Abolition or Reform?

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has issued its third, and presumably final, decision in the lawsuit challenging the National Labor Relations Board’s new election rules. In the latest order, the Court granted summary judgement in favor of the NLRB on the remaining counts of the complaint.
Continue Reading NLRB Prevails in Remaining Challenges to Election Regulations

Social distancing and uncertainty about COVID-19 have altered many aspects of daily life, uprooted traditions, and redefined “normal.” Unions are seizing this opportunity in a push for electronic representation elections.  On May 6, a coalition of fourteen unions urged Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, and Chuck Schumer to fund and direct the NLRB to establish a system and procedures to facilitate electronic union representation elections.
Continue Reading Electronic Union Representation Elections Are Looming

On September 20, 2019, the NLRB issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to exclude undergraduate and graduate students who perform paid work for private colleges and universities in connection with their studies from the definition of employee under the National Labor Relations Act.  The proposed rule would prevent undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants from unionizing or collectively organizing.
Continue Reading NLRB Issues Proposed Rule That Grad Students Cannot Unionize

On September 3, 2019, in First Student, Inc. v. NLRB, __ F.3d __ (D.C. Cir. 2019), the court upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s application of the “perfectly clear” doctrine in First Student Inc. v. NLRB, 366 NLRB No. 13 (February 6, 2018).  The “perfectly clear” doctrine affects the right of a labor law successor, which acquires a unionized business, to set new terms and conditions of employment.  Thus, it can have an important impact on the economics of the commercial transaction.
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds NLRB’s “Perfectly Clear” Successor Doctrine

The National Labor Relations Board has issued the first part of its planned series of revisions to labor union election procedures.  The revisions arrive five years after the Obama-era Board’s controversial 2014 changes that created the so-called “ambush election” procedures.  
Continue Reading NLRB Issues First of Its Proposed Changes to Union Election Rules

The Board’s recent decision in Merck, Sharp, & Dohme Corp., 367 NLRB No. 122 (May 7, 2019)  highlights the differences that can arise as a result of the collective bargaining process in the terms and conditions of employment for employers with a divided workforce of non-union and union-represented employees.  In Merck, the Board majority reversed the Administrative Law Judge’s ruling that the employer had violated Section 8(a)(3) and (1) by offering a new, one-time paid holiday, “Appreciation Day” to all of its non-union employees to the exclusion of its union-represented employees. 
Continue Reading NLRB Rules That Employer’s Exclusion of Union Employees From Paid Holiday Granted to Non-Union Employees is Lawful