SHRM Joins Lawsuit to Stop NLRB Union Election Rule

Jan 5, 2015
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WASHINGTON — The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), along with a coalition representing an array of industries and employers, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today to stop the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from moving forward with implementation of its new union election rule.

The rule, issued on Dec. 12, changes longstanding labor policy by shortening the time in which employers are required to hold union elections to as little as 14 days. SHRM believes the rule unnecessarily reduces the time employees need to make an informed decision about whether or not to join a union.

“This rule is an unprecedented change in the union election process, which is governed by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935,” said Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, SHRM president and CEO. “The changes unfairly hinder the ability of employees to make an informed choice about whether or not to join a union. This rule is the latest and most sweeping action by the NLRB to tilt the process toward unionization and prevent employers from effectively communicating with employees, and it should be thrown out.”

SHRM joined in the lawsuit with the National Association of Manufacturers, National Retail Federation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Coalition for a Democratic Workforce.

“SHRM does not enter into litigation lightly,” Jackson said. “But SHRM believes that the NLRB has exceeded its authority and the new rule violates the National Labor Relations Act.”

SHRM also is concerned about the rule’s mandate that employers give employees’ personal phone numbers and email addresses to labor organizations. The NLRB acknowledged the privacy, identity theft and other risks posed by the requirement but determined that the risks were worth taking. “SHRM is troubled by the NLRB’s willingness to take these risks,” Jackson said. “HR professionals take their obligations to protect employee private information seriously.”

The NLRB said the rule was designed to significantly speed up the election process. But in the last 10 years, union elections have been held within a median of 38 days from the filing of the petition, fewer than the NLRB’s goal of 42 days.

As a result, SHRM believes that the NLRB has not made the case that this rule is necessary.

To view the lawsuit, visit

SHRM comments when the rule was proposed:

Related SHRM testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce:

MEDIA: For details or to request an interview, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and or Vanessa Gray at 703-535-6072 and

About the Society for Human Resource Management
Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.

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