ABC New Hampshire & Vermont News

"Ambush" Election Rule Now in Effect

A controversial final rule issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in December 2011 that overhauls procedures for union representation elections became effective on April 30. Under the rule, commonly known as the “ambush” elections rule, the amount of time between when a union files a representation petition and an election takes place is reduced from the current average of around 40 days to as few as 17 to 20 days. The NLRB achieved this drastic reduction in time primarily by:
combining pre- and post-election appeals;
truncating pre- and post-hearing procedures; and
limiting the types of issues an employer can raise at a pre-election hearing. (Determining which employees are considered supervisors, and which employees constitute a potential bargaining “unit” are no longer permitted before the election takes place.)
Although the NLRB’s final rule requires no immediate action by employers unless they are involved in a union representation election, the shortened time period for union elections will place a premium on rapid response by employers to union organizing activity. Employers are encouraged to speak with their labor counsel now about implementing a rapid response plan for management.

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