On December 15, 2014, the Federal Register published the Board's final rule governing the filing and processing of petitions relating to the representation of employees for purposes of collective bargaining. The rule will dramatically shorten the time between the filing of a certification petition and the conduct of an NLRB secret ballot election. It is set to become effective April 14, 2015, although the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations have filed suit in federal court in the District of Columbia asking the court to vacate the rule.
Two Board members, Philip A. Miscimarra and Harry I. Johnson, III, dissented from the Board’s final rule, citing, among other problems, its destructive effect on employers’ and employees’ ability to communicate among themselves regarding the prospect of a union in the workplace. “The Final Rule has become the Mount Everest of regulations: Massive in scale and unforgiving in its effect," the dissenters wrote. "The Rule's primary purpose and effect remain . . . : Initial union representation elections must occur as soon as possible." As a result, the dissenters asserted that "[t]he Rule improperly shortens the time needed for employees to understand relevant issues, compelling them to 'vote now, understand later.'"
The NLRB rule, also known as the “quickie election” rule or the "ambush election" rule, eliminates pre-election evidentiary hearings and requests for review and defers decision on virtually all issues relating to appropriateness of units and voter eligibility now decided at the pre-election stage. The new rule also expands the personal information relating to employees which employers are required to disclose to unions in voter eligibility lists known as “Excelsior lists.” Specifically, the Board will require that both telephone numbers, including mobile phone numbers, and email addresses, if available, be included along with employees’ names and addresses. In addition, the NLRB will require that the employer disclose the employee’s work location, shift, and classification.