Federal Courts Uphold Ambush Elections Rule Amidst Recent Challenge

hard hats lowThe U.S. Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. has rejected the challenge to the National Labor Relations Board’s “ambush election” rule (a rule that speeds up the election period to 14 days and places restrictions on employer communications to employees during this time period).

The challenge was brought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, and the Society for Human Resource Management after the rules went into effect last April.

According to court documents, the challenges presented to the court include:

  • the rule exceeded statutory authority under the National Labor Relations Act;
  • the rule is arbitrary and capricious and should be under the Administrative Procedure Act; and
  • the rule violates an employers’ First and Fifth Amendment rights.

The courts ultimately decided that the rules do speed up the process but the intention of the rules goes far beyond that by seeking to address a more technological society. According to the documents: “Expedition is a valid concern, well within the Board’s purview, but the Final Rule makes clear that it was aimed not only at increasing the speed and efficiency with which representation elections are carried out, but that it was also designed to increase transparency and uniformity, to ensure more fair and accurate voting, and to adapt the Board’s rules to modern technology. These goals all further the Board’s mandate to ‘adopt policies and promulgate rules and regulations in order that employees’ votes may be recorded accurately, efficiently and speedily.’”

An appeal is anticipated. Stay tuned for more.

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