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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NLRB "Ambush" Election Rules Now Go Into Effect April 14th

By: Tommy Eden

It's official - President Obama is allowing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Ambush Election rules to take effect on April 14 by a revised NLRB agenda. It's no April Fool’s joke. This week President Obama vetoed a congressional resolution of disapproval seeking to overturn new unionization voting rules Tuesday. Republicans and Labor experts all contend those new rules would allow for "ambush elections."

The New York office of the National Labor Relations Board posted on it website that was conducting a training seminar for its new union election rules at a New York City union office. The NLRB, is the federal government’s top labor arbiter, and is distributing training materials to its regional offices, which oversee local elections. A PowerPoint presentation was made on the ambush election rules at the Service Employees International Union’s New York City headquarters on Thursday. Three NLRB regional directors conducted the training at the “Offices of 32BJ SEIU,” according to a notice posted on the NLRB website.

 Under these new rules, the NLRB will be ready to administrate elections in as little as 13 days from when a petition is filed, rather than the current 40 days.

Common Sense Counsel: This is the Obama Administration continuing payback initiative to Big Labor by pushing through rules that they could not otherwise have gotten through Congress. Taking the following 7 steps can help your company avoid be an easy target for a union campaign: 1) let your employees know how you feel about a union in your employee handbook; 2) don't be afraid to send a letter home to employees reiterating your position; 3) check your no solicitation, no distribution policies for legal compliance and property signage; 4) train your supervisor on appropriate and legal union avoidance steps (TIPS) within the law; 5) make sure your managers and supervisors are being good coaches by showing appreciation for the hard work of employees, involving them in decisions and helping to promote their career path; 6) ask your employees what you can do better with regards to safety, working conditions, communication etc – then do it.; and 7) take affirmative steps to reduce the risk of harassment, favoritism, retaliation and anything else that would hinder a respectful working environment.

Tommy Eden is a partner working out of the Constangy, Smith & Prophete, LLP offices in Opelika, AL and West Point, GA and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. He can be contacted at or 334-246-2901. Blog at and follow on twitter tommyeden3