NLRB: Employers Must Include Employees’ Phone Numbers, E-Mail Addresses in Voter Lists

Employers facing union drivers shouldn’t hold all the advantages when it comes to communicating with employees who the union is wooing, the National Labor Relations Board decided last week.

The board last Friday issued a set of regulations to create a more level playing field in union representation cases, which ultimately determine whether a workplace should be unionized or not.

Under the new set of procedures, employers faced with a union petition will have to provide additional contact information, including personal telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, in voter lists supplied to unions and other parties. The purpose of this requirement, according to the board’s announcement, is to “enhance a fair and free exchange of ideas by permitting other parties to communicate with voters about the election using modern technology.”

A main thrust of the new rules is to reduce the time between the filing of an election petition and the holding of the election.  Business critics of the new rules call them an effort to legitimize “ambush elections” in which employers don’t have time to rebut the arguments of the pro-union forces.

The rules were approved in a 3-2 divided board vote and business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce have vowed to file suit to stop them.

Don’t be surprised if the new rules aren’t also  subject to debate in the next Congress which convenes in January.

Here’s the NLRB’s fact sheet on the new rules.


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