In late April, a federal District Court in Washington declined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's request to delay implementation of the National Labor Relations Boards' new regulations that expedite union elections. The Chamber sought an injunction prohibiting the NLRB from implementing the rules as scheduled on April 30. While denying the request for injunction, the District Court informed the litigants that it expected to issue a decision on the merits of the legal challenge to the new rules by May 15.
The new NLRB regulations are intended to shorten the time between the certification of a union election and the actual employee vote. They substantially limit the grounds for employer challenges to the proposed bargaining unit, requiring that most such appeals be heard only after the election has occurred. The Chamber and other business groups contend that the new rules are a blatant attempt to assist unions in winning representation elections by limiting employers' time and methods to oppose the organizing effort.
In denying the injunction request, the District Court judge did not provide any indication with regards to the merit of the Chamber's legal challenge. Regardless of the District Court's decision, the losing litigant will doubtlessly appeal the decision to the federal appellate courts. Until such time as the rules are invalidated or an injunction is granted, any bargaining unit elections will be held under the new expedited time periods.