First introduced in the Employee Free Choice Act as an alternative to card check, the quickie election has been brought back as part of the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) rulemaking process. On June 21, 2011, the NLRB, with Board Member Brian Hayes dissenting, issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking suggesting numerous changes to the procedures governing union elections. These proposed changes are significant and if accepted would both alter the landscape of secret ballot elections and place employers at a severe disadvantage.
Employers who thought the hotly contested issue of card check recognition had been side-lined along with EFCA should take notice of a recent decision announced by the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”). As predicted earlier in light of its new composition, the Board has begun to lay the groundwork to overturn established precedent giving employees the right to demand a secret ballot election in the face of voluntary card-based union recognition.
Continue Reading Newly Constituted NLRB Set To Revisit Employees’ Rights After Card-Based Recognition
Two significant developments last week affect the functioning of the country’s federal agency in charge of overseeing union-management relations. The first is a decision by the US Supreme Court and the second is the resignation of the agency’s general counsel effective June 18th.
As a result of political disagreements over nominations to fill vacancies on the National labor Relations Board, the Board operated with only two of its five members during 2008, 2009 and into 2010. During that time, the two members decided almost 600 cases (though most were not particularly controversial from the standpoint of illuminating policy or setting precedent). On June 17, the Supreme Court ruled in New Process Steel v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 08-1457, that the two members did not have the authority to decide those cases because they did not constitute a proper quorum under the National Labor Relations Act. Instead, the Court ruled that at least three sitting Board members were required for the NLRB to act. The ruling nullifies the decisions made in all 600 cases and effectively remands the cases back to the Board for re-adjudication.
The NLRB’s General Counsel, Ron Meisburg, recently announced his anticipated resignation, effective June 20, 2010. Meisburg’s departure now frees President Obama to appoint Meisburg’s successor. While a number of names as replacement GC have surfaced, no clear front runner has emerged.