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Freedom Fridays

August 10, 2018 – Reversing the NLRB’s Unfair Ambush Election Rule



What is the NLRB?

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is an independent U.S. government agency created in 1935 to enforce the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Congress enacted the NLRA, in part, to grant employees the right to form a union. The NLRB conducts union elections for employee groups that meet requirements.


What is the Ambush Election Rule?

In April 2015, the NRLB issued an “ambush election” rule which shortened the time between the filing of a petition to form a union and the actual election from a minimum of 25 days to 10.   Shortening the minimum time given to employees and employers tipped the scales in favor of union formation. Businesses had little time to educate their workforce and employees weren’t given time to research the issue on their own.  In fact, a 2015 Labor Relations Institute study found that 90 percent of union wins occurred if an election was held within 14 days of the initial petition filing. 


Why is this a problem?

Most businesses spend an average of 35 days before an election is held. Some larger companies may have the funding and manpower to comply with the new standards. However, small businesses have limited resources, making them susceptible to a “vote now, understand later” scenario.


What am I doing about it?

Last year, I voted in favor of Representative Tim Walberg’s amendment preventing funding to implement the NLRB’s Ambush Election rule. I continue to urge the current NLRB to rescind this unnecessary rule and I am confident the current administration will work with Congress to reverse this burdensome regulation.


What are they saying?

"Decisions on important issues are better resolved with more speech and information, not less. The NLRB's 'ambush elections' rule prevents workers from getting a full hearing on the advantages and disadvantages of joining a particular union, as well as intimidating them by forcing an employer to disclose workers' personal information to the union organizers. The rule is an example of the government colluding with unions to the detriment of workers' rights and freedoms." – Ilya Shapiro, Constitutional Studies Senior Fellow at CATO Institute

"A holdover Obama-era regulation from the National Labor Relations Board tramples employees’ right to privacy and harms worker choice. The Ambush Election rule overhauled how union elections are conducted in order to ease organizing campaigns. Under this rule, workers have very little time to educate themselves on the pros and cons of unionization. It does so by drastically shortening the time period between when a union files for election and a vote is conducted to possibly as little as 10 days. This ensures unions have ample time to share their side of the story with employees, and can then file for an election when the time is right. Worse, ambush elections require employers to hand over workers’ private information—personal telephone number, email address, and work schedule—without giving them the option to opt-out of this information sharing. This invasion of privacy runs the risk of increased identity theft, intimidation and harassment of workers around the country. Congress should pass legislation that ensures workers receive ample time to contemplate the important decision on whether to unionize their workplace and protects the private information of workers." – Trey Kovacs, Competitive Enterprise Institute Labor Policy Analyst