The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has adopted a final rule amending its representation–case procedures to “modernize and streamline the process for resolving representation disputes.” The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Dec. 15, and will take effect on April 14, 2015.

The final rule was approved by Board Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and members Kent Y. Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer. Board members Philip A. Miscimarra and Harry I. Johnson III dissented.  The rule includes detailed explanations regarding the rule’s impact on current procedures and the views of the majority and dissenting members.

The board majority said it believes the rule will enable the agency to more effectively administer the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by modernizing its rules in light of modern technology, making its procedures more transparent and uniform across regions, and eliminating unnecessary litigation and delay. With these amendments, the board majority believes it will be better able to fulfill its duty to protect employees’ rights by fairly, efficiently and expeditiously resolving questions of representation.

The final rule:

  • Provides for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents;
  • Ensures that employees, employers and unions receive timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process;
  • Eliminates or reduces unnecessary litigation, duplication and delay;
  • Adopts best practices and uniform procedures across regions;
  • Requires that additional contact information (personal telephone numbers and email addresses) be included in voter lists, to the extent that information is available to the employer, in order to enhance a fair and free exchange of ideas by permitting other parties to the election to communicate with voters about the election using modern technology; and
  • Allows parties to consolidate all election-related appeals to the board into a single appeals process.

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