NLRB Issues Memorandum on Union Elections

There has been a great amount of activity in union organizing efforts in recent years. Many societal and market changes, as well as the impact of the pandemic on various working arrangements, serve as the foundational basis for this dramatic increase in union activity. This meaningful development highlights the importance of understanding one’s workforce arrangements and how those arrangements impact the interests and well-being of individuals.

A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) GC Memorandum removes some procedural steps for union elections. In essence, this would speed up the union election process. As a practical matter, this recent change in the union election process would typically reduce the traditional union campaign timeline by approximately two weeks. This would have a major impact on many employers in terms of the ability to address certain issues in a timely manner.

The Memorandum, “Guidance Memorandum on 2023 Election Rule Representation Case Procedure Changes (Memorandum GC 25-02, December 8, 2023),” streamlines the election process. As the Memorandum highlights, “[T]he 2023 Election Rule will … meaningfully reduce the time from petition filing to election and expedite the resolution of any post-election litigation thereby achieving the goal of fairly, efficiently, and expeditiously resolving questions concerning representation.”

Interest in unions is likely to continue. The prominence of union-related activity is of specific note for employers. Many industries are the focus of union activity. Recent union activity highlights the importance of having in place thoughtful, responsive employment practices and policies. Periodic climate engagement surveys of associates are often quite instructive in this context. In addition, it is vital to provide opportunities for associate voices to be heard and acted upon in the course of day-to-day operations. An inclusive, respectful, diverse workplace culture is essential in today’s ever-changing and dynamic workplace.

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