NLRB "Ambush Election Rule" goes into effect

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:53 pm
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New NLRB rules challenged

http://www.coshoctontribune.com/article ... |Frontpage

Apr. 29, 2012 |


Written by
Jim Evans

Throughout the past several years, the National Labor Relations Board and organized labor have struggled in their efforts to get federal legislation that supports and gives advantage to unions in their organizing efforts. In response, the NLRB has changed its strategy. They're using their rule-making authority to advance pro-union regulations. Two significant rules that support unions were adopted in 2011 and are slated to become effective this month.

This rule change is being challenged in court and is also likely to appealed up to the Supreme Court.

One of these regulations requires most private sector employers to post an 11x17 notice to remind employees of their rights under the NLRB, such as the right to form, join or assist a union; collectively negotiate about their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment; discuss terms and conditions of employment with coworkers and union representatives; join coworkers in submitting work problems directly to the employer, a government agency, or union; or to choose not do any of these activities, including not joining or remaining a member of the union.

The poster also lists examples of illegal activities that could be committed by employers or unions, and tells employees how to contact the NLRB with questions or complaints. The poster informs employees they can submit inquiries to the NLRB without having to inform their employer. It reminds employees that anyone can file a charge -- even when they are not directly affected by an employer's violation.


Originally, posters were to be displayed no later than Nov. 14, 2011, but because of legal wrangling pertaining to the NLRB's right to mandate the posting, the NLRB postponed the effective date to Monday. The legal challenges continue, and although the rule still remains on the books, the NLRB once again is delaying the posting date, this time indefinitely pending legal resolution. The DC Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments sometime in September. Therefore, at least at this point in time, the NLRB says that it won't be enforcing its posting rule. In explaining the postponement, NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce said, "We continue to believe that requiring employers to post this notice is well within the Board's authority, and that it provides a genuine service to employees who may not otherwise know their rights under our law."

The NLRB adopted another regulation that has received less notoriety than the posting rule, but which significantly will affect employers who face union organizing campaigns. The NLRB states it passed this rule to streamline and modernize the union election process. Normally, the timeframe for holding a union election extends about 41 days from the date the representation petition was filed, but the new regulation will shorten this timeframe to as short as 10 days.

Opponents have labeled this rule as the "Ambush Election Rule" because the shortened timeframe limits the time available for the employer to respond to a union organizing drive. Prior to the rule, employers could take up to 41 days to remind employees about their benefits and current terms of employment, and why, in the employer's opinion, employees should consider remaining union free. The union has time to get its message out before filing for representation, but the employer's time to respond to the filing is severely limited. Supporters counter that the shortened timeframe is justified because it limits the opportunity for employers to commit unfair labor practices during the organizing campaign. Employers aren't permitted to commit unfair labor practices, but they are allowed to inform their employees of the advantages of remaining union free, as long as their message doesn't involve interrogating or spying on employees, or making promises or threats.

This rule is scheduled to take effect Monday. On Tuesday, in a last ditch effort to nullify the rule, a Senate resolution failed to garner enough votes. The failed vote came on the heels of a veto threat by President Barack Obama on the eve of the vote. However, it still is possible the rule will be delayed if a motion for injunction filed against the NLRB by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace is successful.


Jim Evans is President of JK Evans & Associates LLC, a Zanesville-based human resource-consulting firm serving throughout Ohio. Jim can be reached at jime@evansandassociates.com.


In short, what this means is you can announce (file) an intent to have a union vote, and then hold the vote just 10 days later, which gives the employer very little time to organize and fly in their own union busting teams. This is great news for those hoping to form a union, and bad news for employers.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:54 pm
"If you ain't on the road, you ain't makin' money!" - gregster

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:13 pm
Here is a link to the new poster:
https://www.nlrb.gov/sites/default/file ... ts_fnl.pdf

Employee Rights
Under the National Labor Relations Act


The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) guarantees the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively with their employers, and to engage in other protected concerted activity or to refrain from engaging in any of the above activity. Employees covered by the NLRA* are protected from certain types of employer and union misconduct. This Notice gives you general information about your rights, and about the obligations of employers and unions under the NLRA. Contact the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Federal agency that investigates and resolves complaints under the NLRA, using the contact information supplied below, if you have any questions about specific rights that may apply in your particular workplace.


Under the NLRA, you have the right to:

• Organize a union to negotiate with your employer concerning your wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.
• Form, join or assist a union.
• Bargain collectively through representatives of employees’ own choosing for a contract with your employer setting your wages, benefits, hours, and other working conditions.
• Discuss your wages and benefits and other terms and conditions of employment or union organizing with your co-workers or a union.
• Take action with one or more co-workers to improve your working conditions by, among other means, raising work-related complaints directly with your employer or with a government agency, and seeking help from a union.
• Strike and picket, depending on the purpose or means of the strike or the picketing.
• Choose not to do any of these activities, including joining or remaining a member of a union.

Under the NLRA, it is illegal for your employer to:
• Prohibit you from talking about or soliciting for a union during non-work time, such as before or after work or during break times; or from distributing union literature during non-work time, in non-work areas, such as parking lots or break rooms.
• Question you about your union support or activities in a manner that discourages you from engaging in that activity.
• Fire, demote, or transfer you, or reduce your hours or change your shift, or otherwise take adverse action against you, or threaten to take any of these actions, because you join or support a union, or because you engage in concerted activity for mutual aid and protection, or because you choose not to engage in any such activity. • Threaten to close your workplace if workers choose a
union to represent them.
• Promise or grant promotions, pay raises, or other benefits to discourage or encourage union support.
• Prohibit you from wearing union hats, buttons, t-shirts, and pins in the workplace except under special circumstances.
• Spy on or videotape peaceful union activities and gatherings or pretend to do so.

Under the NLRA, it is illegal for a union or for the union that represents you in bargaining with your
employer to:

• Threaten or coerce you in order to gain your support for the union.
• Refuse to process a grievance because you have criticized union officials or because you are not a member of the union.
• Use or maintain discriminatory standards or procedures in making job referrals from a hiring hall.
• Cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against you because of your union-related activity.
• Take adverse action against you because you have not joined or do not support the union.

If you and your co-workers select a union to act as your collective bargaining representative, your employer and the union are required to bargain in good faith in a genuine effort to reach a written, binding agreement setting your terms and conditions of employment. The union is required to fairly represent you in bargaining and enforcing the agreement.

Illegal conduct will not be permitted. If you believe your rights or the rights of others have been violated, you should contact the NLRB promptly to protect your rights, generally within six months of the unlawful activity. You may inquire about possible violations without your employer or anyone else being informed of the inquiry. Charges may be filed by any person and need not be filed by the employee directly affected by the violation. The NLRB may order an employer to rehire a worker fired in violation of the law and
to pay lost wages and benefits, and may order an employer or union to cease violating the law. Employees should seek assistance from the nearest regional NLRB office, which can be found on the Agency’s Web site: http://www.nlrb.gov.

You can also contact the NLRB by calling toll-free: 1-866-667-NLRB (6572) or (TTY) 1-866-315-NLRB (1-866-315-6572) for hearing impaired.
If you do not speak or understand English well, you may obtain a translation of this notice from the NLRB’s Web site or by calling the toll-free numbers listed above.

* The National Labor Relations Act covers most private-sector employers. Excluded from coverage under the NLRA are public-sector employees, agricultural and domestic workers, independent contractors, workers employed by a parent or spouse, employees of air and rail carriers covered by the Railway Labor Act, and supervisors (although supervisors that have been discriminated against for refusing to violate the NLRA may be covered).

This is an official Government Notice and must not be defaced by anyone.
September 2011
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 3:57 pm
I'd like to know what the congressman's definition of "small business" is.

We have had this posted in our store for about 2 months now, I would assume it is posted in all 20 stores in our franchise in northwest Washington. Since our Bowners also own a franchise in Oregon I would think it'd be posted in those also.
Don't expect others to fight your Battles

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