New rules are resulting in faster union elections

Many businesses have predicted that new federal rules that took effect last year could result in “quickie” union elections in which the employer wouldn’t have time to campaign effectively and get its message across. It now looks like those fears might be justified – the average time before a private-sector union election is now only three weeks, compared to five weeks previously, according to the National Labor Relations Board.

The new rules allow election petitions to be filed electronically instead of by mail, force businesses to wait until after a vote to raise most legal challenges, and require companies to provide unions with employees’ personal e-mail addresses.

Many companies have complained that unions can now spend months getting ready for a challenge, and then spring it on the employer without giving the employer adequate time to respond.

The Board said it hasn’t yet compiled data on whether unions are winning a greater percentage of elections under the new rules.

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