We’ve been following the NLRB’s proposed amendments to the rules and regulations governing union election cases over the past few weeks. Today, the Board voted 2–1 to adopt the Chairman’s proposed amendments, which significantly limit employer’s rights before the Board. Before, employers had the absolute right to insist on a pre-election hearing to litigate the appropriateness of the proposed bargaining unit, supervisory status, and other issues. Now, hearings will be limited only to those issues—as determined  by a hearing officer of the Board (who is not a judge)—to be relevant to the question of whether an election should be conducted. The amendments also limit parties’ rights to appeal regional-level election case determinations. Click here to read a more detailed summary of the changes in our prior post.

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow and will take effect April 30, 2012. The amendments are already being challenged in court. On December 20, 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the Board’s adoption of the rule. Click here to read the Chamber’s lawsuit.

We will continue to monitor these amendments and the challenges to them in the courts. Stay tuned.