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Federal Judge Rejects Challenge to NLRB Ambush Election Rules

    Client Alerts
  • August 17, 2015
Last year, the Department of Labor issued final rules significantly reducing employers’ ability to administratively challenge petitions for unionization. The rules significantly restrict the grounds on which employers can claim pre-election that the proposed bargaining unit is not appropriately drawn, limiting such challenges to after the union has already been recognized. More importantly, the regulations reduce the time periods between the filing of the petition and the election, greatly reducing employers’ ability to make their case to employees asked to vote on unionization.

Last month, a federal district court in Washington rejected a legal challenge to the NLRB rules filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The court concluded that the challenge involved policy objections to the measures adopted by the NLRB and not recognizable legal claims relating to the substance of the rules themselves. This decision follows the rejection of a similar lawsuit filed in federal court in Texas.

While these decisions will be reviewed by federal appellate courts, the trial courts’ rejections do not bode well for the plaintiffs’ eventual success. Employers may simply be forced to recognize that their ability to contest union elections has been significantly handcuffed as a result of the NLRB’s pro-labor actions.