National Labor Relations Board Issues Final Rule to Restore Fair and Efficient Procedures for Union Elections
The National Labor Relations Board today adopted a Final Rule amending its procedures governing representation elections. This Rule largely reverses the amendments made by the Board’s 2019 Election Rule, which introduced new delays in the election process. The new rule returns the Board’s key election procedures to those put in place by a 2014 rule that was adopted using a notice-and-comment process and that was uniformly upheld by federal courts. Last year, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down parts of the 2019 Rule, and the Board has already rescinded those provisions.
“It is a basic principle of the National Labor Relations Act that representation cases should be resolved quickly and fairly,” said Chairman Lauren McFerran. “By removing unnecessary delays from the election process, the new rule supports these important goals, and allows workers to more effectively exercise their fundamental rights.”
The new rule will meaningfully reduce the time it takes to get from petition to election in contested elections and will expedite the resolution of any post-election litigation. Highlights of the new rule’s changes include:
- Allowing pre-election hearings to begin more quickly;
- Ensuring that important election information is disseminated to employees more quickly;
- Making pre- and post-election hearings more efficient; and
- Ensuring that elections are held more quickly.
As with prior changes to the Board’s election processes, the new rule will become effective four months from the date of publication to ensure adequate time for the NLRB’s Regional offices to implement the new procedures. A companion rule also ensures that two provisions of the 2019 Rule that had been previously enjoined by a federal district court, but were scheduled to become effective on September 10, 2023, will not take effect. The new rule rescinds those provisions.
The final rule was approved by Board Chairman Lauren McFerran and Members Gwynne A. Wilcox and David M. Prouty. Board Member Marvin E. Kaplan dissented. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on August 25, 2023 and will take effect on December 26, 2023.
View a fact sheet about the new rule.
Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employees from unfair labor practices and protects the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB conducts hundreds of workplace elections and investigates thousands of unfair labor practice charges each year.