Union Week

Lots of union-related developments in the employment law universe this week. Earlier this week, we told you everything you need to know about the new union rights posting requirement here. Now, here's everything you need to know about three brand-new decisions issued this week by the NLRB that are causing some employers to lose sleep. Organizing Just Got Easier In Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, the NLRB overturned its long-standing "community-of-interest" standard in determining an appropriate bargaining unit. Employers objecting to a unit proposed by a union must now prove that employees excluded by the union share an overwhelming community of interest. The NLRB's ruling expressly stated that those seeking to set aside a petitioned-for unit will lose in "all but the most exceptional circumstances." This ruling will make it much easier for unions to pick and choose which units they wish to organize, including small units and individual departments. Decertification Just Got Harder In Lamons Gasket Co., the NLRB ruled that employees must wait at least six months to file a decert petition after voting in a union. Under the Board's prior ruling in Dana Corp., an immediate challenge could be filed by 30% of employees (or another union). Buyer Beware In UGL-UNICCO Service Co., the NLRB changed the rule on union status following a merger or acquisition. The old rule allowed for an immediate challenge of an existing union's status by the new employer, 30% of employees or another union. Under the new rule, the existing union is protected from challenge for at least six months after its first bargaining session with the employer. This undoubtedly will not be the last we hear from the NLRB on rather controversial topics such as these. Stay tuned for more.

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