The NLRB finalized amendments to new election rules, to include a new blocking charge policy, an update to voluntary recognition rules, and a “proof” requirement for Section 9(a) recognition in the construction industry. The union filing of an unfair labor practice blocking charge will no longer prevent an election from proceeding. The board will impound the ballots while the charge is either withdrawn, dismissed or resolved. For voluntary recognition, the board adopted the Dana Corp decision, granting a 45-day open period to file an election petition upon notice of voluntary recognition. In Section 9(a) recognition, it will now be required of the union to provide positive evidence of majority employee support to prove a Section 9(a) relationship. See additional details of these three amendments at this link.

The Board also made it less perilous for an employer to withdraw recognition from a union if employees present proof of lack of majority support for the union. Until now, the union could secretly re-organize the employees after the employer announced it planned to withdraw recognition, putting the company at legal risk. However, in Johnson Controls, Inc., the union cannot secretly reorganize employees but must file a petition for union election within 45 days of the employer announcing intent to withdraw recognition.

In response to the CoVid-19 pandemic, on March 27, NLRB General Counsel, Peter Robb, issued a memorandum providing guidance on employers’ obligation to bargain during emergency situations. The memo provided no new information but rather pointed to nine previous NLRB decisions “in which the Board considered the duty to bargain during emergencies.” Download a copy of the memo here.

The Board has pitched the decision of how and when to lift the suspension of union elections to the Regional Directors, after it temporarily suspended all elections until April 6th. We’ve been compiling notes from consultants and attorneys on what is happening region by region, and holding a weekly webinar to provide an update.  If you are interested in participating, send an email from a company email address to gkittinger@lrims.com.

The financial aid loan package for mid-sized businesses comes with a catch: to take advantage of the program, you have to submit to a neutrality agreement. Companies with between 500 and 10,000 employees applying for a direct loan from the Treasury Department would be required to “make a good-faith certification that the recipient will remain neutral in any union organizing effort for the term of the loan.”

California employers with unlimited vacation policies should review this Court of Appeals decision carefully. The court ruled, using the “law and equity” standard, that three employees terminated by a company were entitled to wages for “unused” vacation days, even though their vacation days did not accrue and the written vacation policy that applied to some employees of the company didn’t apply to them.