On April 14, 2015, the long awaited rules governing union elections went into effect. These so-called ambush election rules were delayed since they were first proposed in 2011 due to a number of legal roadblocks. If your company is being organized under the new rules, everything you knew about the process has likely changed. In fact, these are the broadest sweeping changes in union elections in half a century.
The biggest change is the time between the union filing a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) until the actual union election, so instead of 42 days it will now be as little as 11 days. Who benefits from this reduction? Many business groups argue that the reduction is to allow unions to gain the upper hand in winning union elections. The shortened time frame can allow unions to organize a workforce secretly for months and then spring an election on a company who has one week to respond to the union’s “ambush.”
Below are a few highlights of what employers can expect under the new rules: