Changes For The NLRB

Changes For The NLRB

The NLRB, National Labor Relations Board is moving to shorten the time from a petition to actual voting for union elections.  This proposed change is just one of the concerns, which will affect employees.

This change was first proposed in 2011, but the District Court in 2012 chose to invalidate it. However, the move to reduce time from the point of a union election is going ahead again.

The move to reduce the current petition time from 42 days down to between 10 and 21 days means that employers need to act fast if they are going to give the information to the staff, who need to fully understand the current petition.

The argument for the requirement of this schedule shift is to prevent unnecessary delays, which could increase the costs involved. While to some this sounds acceptable, the actual process will have started with the union organizers before filing the petition, giving them more time to prepare than employers.

What it also means is, employers have little time to educate managers and employees about the union people.  The time can be reduced to as little as a week.  In order for employers to make informed decisions, they will need to educate employees on all the relevant information and how to anticipate the possibility of a union drive, so they are ready to act upon at a moment’s notice. Since the time frame that businesses will have to work with is tight, it may be difficult to make sure all information is understood.

It is therefore imperative to train managers and supervisors to spot any potential sign for the possibility of a petition. It is also imperative that all staff have the information on their rights, so they are able to make an informed decision about the proposal.

It will mean more work for the employers who are looking to reduce costs in a difficult economic climate. Instead, they are going to need to increase the amount of work required to fulfill their own obligations.