Copyright: ratoca / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: ratoca / 123RF Stock Photo

We’ve been expressing concern about the National Labor Relations Board’s efforts to implement “quickie election” rules for over a year. Well, the rules are now in place and they’re part of a double-whammy for employers. First, the NLRB reversed course to decide that unions can require employers to turn over employees’ e-mail addresses. Now, under the new rules, an election can be held as soon as 14 to 21 days after a petition is filed, drastically reducing the time the employer has to educate its workforce about whether the benefits or organizing outweigh the detriments.

Marv Weinberg and Chip Zuver explain the new rules in more detail here. Is there anything employers should do now other than wring their hands and lament their situation? Absolutely. They should:

  • Expect more organizing activity since elections will be easier for unions to win. So they need to realistically evaluate their susceptibility to an organizing campaign and work to identify and eliminate weaknesses. If they wait until a petition is filed to justify unpopular policies, it may be too late.
  • Reconsider whether collecting personal email addresses and cell phone numbers for employees is advisable.
  • Review their nonsolicitation and access policies to see if they’re still enforceable under the new rules.
  • Consider implementing “open door” policies to encourage employees to bring issues and concerns directly to management. Start telling and showing them that they don’t need a union for them to have their voices heard.