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What changes does the final rule make for post-election hearings?

Post-election hearings on challenges and/or objections will normally open 21 days after the preparation of the tally of ballots or as soon as practicable thereafter, unless the parties agree to an earlier date.  Prior rules established no set time for opening post election hearings.  The hearing officer will continue the hearing from day to day until completed unless the regional director concludes that extraordinary circumstances warrant otherwise.      

After a post-election hearing, the hearing officer will prepare a report that will contain his or her recommendations to the regional director on the disposition of objections and/or challenges.  Under prior rules, those recommendations were usually made to the Board, rather than to the regional director.  Any party may, within 14 days from the date of the issuance of this report, file with the regional director exceptions to that report and a brief, if desired.  A party opposing those exceptions may file an answering brief within 7 days from the last due date for filing exceptions or within any additional time allowed by the regional director.  A copy of that answering brief must be immediately served on all other parties and a statement of service must be filed with the regional director. 

The decision of the regional director will be final unless a request for review is granted.  All appeals from a regional director’s post-election decision will be discretionary, consistent with the standard of review now applied in reviewing pre-election decisions made by a regional director.  In other words, a party seeking review from a regional director’s post-election decision must identify a compelling reason for Board review, just as the current rules require a party to do when seeking Board review of a regional director’s pre-election decision. Under prior rules, parties had a right to file exceptions from the hearing officer’s report with the Board, in all cases in which the hearing officer’s recommendations were made to the Board.   

Parties may consolidate their request for review from a regional director’s post-election decision with their request for review of a regional director’s pre-election decision, if they have not previously requested review of that decision.

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