Union Organizing

Congress Introduces Measures to Block NLRB "Ambush" Rule

Feb 18, 2015
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Earlier this week, the Senate and House chairs of the respective workplace committees in Congress, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Congressman John Kline (R-MN) introduced resolutions of disapproval which, if enacted, could nullify the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) representation election rule, also known as the “ambush” election rule.

SHRM strongly supports the resolutions and has sent letters to both the Senate and House highlighting concerns on behalf of the HR profession. The ambush election rule gets its nickname because of its focus on speeding up the union election process at the expense of both employees and employers, who will have insufficient time to understand and address the relevant issues about the consequences of unionization in the workplace. SHRM has long supported the fundamental right, guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), of every employee to make an informed, private choice about whether or not to join a union. While estimates vary, under this rule elections could occur in as little as 7 to 11 days after the employer is notified of an election petition.

A vote on the resolution of disapproval is expected in each chamber in the coming months. If Congress is able to pass the resolution, it will likely be subject to a veto by President Barack Obama. Thus, both chambers of Congress will need to generate a two-thirds majority vote in order to override a certain veto by the president.

As reported earlier, SHRM has also filed a lawsuit challenging the NLRB ambush election rulemaking–notable in that it is only the third time SHRM has challenged a federal rule in court. On February 5, 2015, SHRM filed a motion for summary judgment asking that the court vacate and set aside the rule. We anticipate that the NLRB will oppose our motion and we have asked the court to hold oral argument on the case. To read the full text of the complaint and motion for summary judgment, click HERE.

If you want to get the latest on the NLRB ambush election rule, be sure to register for the 2015 SHRM Employment Law and Legislative Conference HERE, which will feature exclusive panels with two newly appointed members of the NLRB. To learn more about the panels, click HERE.

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