In upholding federal regulations that speed up union elections, a federal court recently dealt a serious blow to senior living operators and other critics.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled in favor of National Labor Relations Board rules that expedite such votes. The measures trim the amount of time from when a union election is called and when it is held to as little as 14 days. In addition, they require employers to give employees’ email addresses and telephone numbers to organizers. In addition, they delay legal challenges by employers until after workers have voted on a proposal to unionize.
The new rules took effect in April but have come under constant criticism by groups representing employers.
Some senior living operators argued they simply do not have enough time to prepare for “ambush elections.” Union groups countered that operators are simply stalling. Judge Jackson clearly found the pro-labor argument more persuasive.
“The court will uphold the final rules,” she wrote in a 72-page opinion.
But the fight continues. Two major business trade associations said they plan to appeal the ruling. But so far, unions have been winning these court battles.
GOP lawmakers in Congress also have introduced legislation to change the National Labor Relations Act. But even if the House and Senate do somehow manage to approve such a measure, overcoming a certain White House veto is highly unlikely.
I suppose anything’s possible. But the trending here is not good for operators. My guess is that if you are dealing with unions in any way, there’s probably going to be a quickie election in your future.