May 29, 2015
The new NLRB expedited election rules, which took effect on April 14, appear to be having their intended effect, with Labor Relations Institute's Phil Wilson observing: "To sum up: petitions up, unit sizes down, and 24 days to an election." Wilson's assertion, based on LRI data, was confirmed this week by BNA, which reported that, in the first month following the rule taking effect, the NLRB received 280 representation case filings, up 17 percent from the 240 petitions filed during the same period a year ago. In addition, the median number of days from the filing of the petition to the election was 23 days, well below the traditional median of 42. Wilson is also seeing a trend towards much smaller units, though few of these appear to be a result of the Board's controversial Specialty Healthcare rule enabling unions to carve up an employer's workforce into fragmented sub-units. Instead, he believes most would fall within the traditional contours. Wilson also notes that the rate of decertification petition filings is down, suggesting "employees could be facing some more resistance or discouragement than usual as they try to file their petitions. This is something worth paying attention to."