This time, the totally sincere, not-at-all programmed outrage will be over a proposed rule change from the National Labor Relations Board. In the dry language of the NLRB, the new rules would:
- Allow for electronic filing of election petitions and other documents.
- Ensure that employees, employers and unions receive and exchange timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process.
- Standardize timeframes for parties to resolve or litigate issues before and after elections.
- Require parties to identify issues and describe evidence soon after an election petition is filed to facilitate resolution and eliminate unnecessary litigation.
- Defer litigation of most voter eligibility issues until after the election.
- Require employers to provide a final voter list in electronic form soon after the scheduling of an election, including voters’ telephone numbers and email addresses when available.
- Consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single post-election appeals process and thereby eliminate delay in holding elections currently attributable to the possibility of pre-election appeals.
- Make Board review of post-election decisions discretionary rather than mandatory.
These changes represent not new law, but new guidelines for following current law—and incredibly modest ones at that. Basically, they would remove a couple of ways anti-union employers currently drag out the election process, giving themselves more time to intimidate workers into voting against union representation. They do that through frivolous litigation, which the changes would minimize and streamline. For instance, according to an NLRB fact sheet explaining the changes, currently:
In contrast to federal court rules, the Board’s current procedures have no mechanism for quickly identifying what issues are in dispute to avoid wasteful litigation and encourage agreements.
Under the new rule:
The parties would be required to state their positions no later than the start of the hearing, before any other evidence is accepted. The proposed amendments would ensure that hearings are limited to resolving genuine disputes.
The right, of course, likes to make hay wailing about frivolous litigation. But that's when it's litigation by regular, non-rich people against corporations. There's a good bet that we're about to find out that the right of corporations to file frivolous litigation to drag out the union election process is a God-given right and that if employers can no longer delay elections by 25-30 days to allow them to request Board review of Regional Director rulings they almost never actually request review of, workers will somehow be forcibly assimilated into the union borg.
There is a 60-day public comment period, followed by a 14-day period for reply comments. Since we're we're talking about the people who called for defunding the NLRB for filing a totally routine complaint against Boeing, the floor on the outrage meter is already set incredibly high. It would be almost entertaining if it wasn't so destructive.