NLRB Finalizes “Ambush” Election Rules

December 23, 2011 By David L. Hoskins
Legal Update

Earlier this month, in Preparing for "Ambush" Union Elections, we notified you that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced its intention to adopt new rules to shorten the time between when a union seeks a representation election and when that election is held.  Such "ambush" elections give unions a steep advantage when organizing employees because employees are denied a full opportunity to learn the complete truth regarding what it means to be represented by a union.  On December 22, the NLRB published the final rule adopting these new election procedures.  They are due to take effect on April 30, 2012.

As anticipated, the new rules require most election disputes, including who is or is not a supervisor, and possibly even the appropriate size and scope of the bargaining unit, be resolved after the election is held.  Also as anticipated, the new rules do not expressly define when an election must be held.  However, by requiring disputed issues be resolved after the election, elections will now be held much sooner than under current practice.

As we noted in our prior update, prudent employers who wish to protect their direct relationship with their employees must quickly adjust to this new labor law environment.