Measure would slow down union elections process

Legislation introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on Thursday would prevent a proposed National Labor Relations Board rule that would speed up the union elections process.

NLRB proposed a rule in February that would give employers seven days to gather information, retain legal counsel and appear before an NLRB regional officer in a pre-election hearing.

Alexander, the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, spearheaded legislative efforts with House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) and House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Chairman Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.).

The lawmakers raised concerns that employers would not have enough time to seek answers to questions and verify voter eligibility before an election takes place under the proposed rule.

“The National Labor Relations Board ought to be an umpire,” Alexander said. “But under this administration (the NLRB) has lunged so far to the side of union advocacy that they’re willing to sacrifice every worker’s right to privacy and every employer’s right to free speech. Congress must act, first to stop this rule, second to reform this board.”

Legislative efforts would ensure that elections are not held within 35 days of an announcement. Employers would also have at least 14 days to prepare a case to present to an NLRB election officer.

“Republicans have said time and again if there are ways to improve the current union election process, we are more than happy to do that,” Roe said. “Unfortunately, the board’s regulatory proposal upends decades of labor policies to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Even more disturbing, it will make workers and their families vulnerable to harassment and intimidation at home or on the job site. Our legislation will empower workers to protect their personal privacy and help modernize the election process. This is a win-win for workers that deserves the support of our colleagues.”

The measure would reassert the NLRB’s duty to address critical issues before a union is allowed to represent workers and to verify employee eligibility.

The bill would also give workers the ability to control the disclosure of their personal information.