NFIB: NLRB Ambush Election Rules Will Deprive Business Owners of Protected Rights
Washington, D.C., April 10, 2014 – Today, Elizabeth Milito, of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center, will testify before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in opposition to a recently proposed NLRB rule to accelerate union elections. The proposed rule would dramatically change union election procedures, depriving employees of making an informed choice, stripping small businesses of due process, and compromising the rights set forth in the National Labor Relations Act.
“Today, the union election process takes a median of 38 days — generally enough time for unions to make their case and for employers to make theirs, and for employees to have the information they need to make a fully informed decision,” said Elizabeth Milito of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center. “However, by reissuing its 2011 proposed rule, the NLRB has again demonstrated there is no real need for any election changes. The NPRM would accomplish nothing more than the holding of elections at lightning speed, while reducing employees’ chances of making informed decisions about the issues. For all these reasons, NFIB and the NFIB Small Business Legal Center urge the Board to withdraw the rulemaking.”
“The NLRB has proven yet again that it has no interest in protecting the small-business community from costly, complicated and onerous rules that make it increasingly difficult for these small firms to operate, let alone grow and compete in the marketplace,” said Karen Harned, executive director of the Small Business Legal Center. “Unlike their larger counterparts, small businesses have unique needs; they do not employ in-house counsel, and they do not possess the resources larger firms do, leaving them to decipher complicated labor laws on their own. The NLRB is intended to be an advocate for employees and employers. But in this last round of rulemakings, the Board has proven that its only intention is to make unionization easier, at a devastating cost to America’s job-creators.”
When the NLRB last proposed the rule in 2011, NFIB sued to stop the proposal and a federal court threw out the rule. Three years later, the board has now issued an identical proposal. The NLRB rule would significantly reduce the time that an employer has to prepare for a union election by shortening the election cycle from the current 37.5 day median (from election petition to election vote) to as little as 10-21 days. Unions favor quicker elections so that they may communicate their messages to employees without the employer’s knowledge before filing an election petition and then limit the time the employer has to communicate its message to employees and prepare objections to the petition.
The NFIB Small Business Legal Center is a 501(c)(3) organization created to protect the rights of America’s small business owners by providing advisory material on legal issues and by ensuring that the voice of small business is heard in the nation’s courts. The National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.