The National Labor Relations Board has announced that on November 30, 2011, it will vote on a portion of its controversial proposed rule that would dramatically change representation election proceedings. Among other significant revisions to the long-standing election process, the rule would require that pre-election hearings be held within seven calendar days after a petition is filed; postpone voter eligibility determinations until after the election; require employers to complete their statement of position before evidence is heard at a pre-election hearing; and require employers to provide the union with a preliminary voter list before the pre-election hearing. The Board stated that at the November 30 meeting the three remaining members will decide whether to adopt “a small number” of these proposed changes, although which ones were not specified.
According to the Board, it has received more than 65,000 written comments on the proposed rule. The agency also conducted a 2-day hearing in July to gather public input. Taking these comments into consideration, and “in light of the possibility that the Board will lose a quorum at the end of the current congressional session,” Board Chairman Mark Pearce “will propose issuing a final rule limited to several provisions designed to reduce unnecessary litigation.” Given the current makeup of the Board, approval of the Chairman’s proposal is a foregone conclusion, with member Brian Hayes (R) sure to object. Following the vote, the Board will “proceed to draft a final rule limited to those proposals, and defer the remainder of the proposed rule for further consideration.”