Federal Court Won't Block NLRB Ambush Election Rules
- May 08, 2015
Last month, the federal district court judge assigned multiple legal challenges to new National Labor Relations Board election rules, declined to issue an injunction to stop the rules from going into effect. The regulations, nicknamed “ambush election” rules by employers, substantially reduce employers’ legal ability to oppose union elections, by shortening the period before elections occur, reducing pre-election legal challenges to bargaining unit petitions, and by requiring employers to provide unions with certain employee contact information.
Several employers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce challenged the rules in federal court, contending they violate employers’ First Amendment and due process rights. In Baker DC, LLC v. NLRB, the district court refused to issue a temporary restraining order requested in order to prevent application of the new regulations to an impending union election. The district court judge did not rule on the merits of the employer’s legal challenge, but concluded that it had not met its burden of demonstrating irreparable harm in the upcoming election. She stated that the new rules do not preclude employers from making their views on unionization known, and that employee information disclosure requirements contain adequate protection against misuse.
This decision does not bode well for the overall challenges to the NLRB rules. Several other lawsuits seeking to invalidate the regulations remain pending in Texas. Eventually, federal appellate courts and perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final say on the validity of the expedited union election procedures.