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NLRB Union Election Rule Struck Down in Federal Court


07/11/2012 5:00PM

Last year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a final rule to compress the time between the filing of a petition for union representation and an actual election date. The rule, referred to by opponents as the “ambush elections” rule, also postpones certain legal issues that previously were handled prior to a union election, effectively rendering them moot.

Information on the NLRB rule, which took effect on April 30, 2012, is available at www.nlrb.gov/node/3990. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, of which NEMA is a member, filed a motion for summary judgment in federal court, seeking invalidation of the NLRB rule. On May 14, Judge James E. Boasberg, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled in favor of the motion, effectively striking down and nullifying the rule on the grounds that the NLRB lacked a quorum of three members when it passed the measure last year.

The NLRB has several options to consider in response, including appealing Judge Boasberg’s ruling or reissuing the rule with the current board members. At the time of writing, it was unclear which response NLRB would choose.

Sarah Owen, Manager, Government Relations