businessman putting a piece of paper in a box

The National Labor Relations Board has created new measures that its regional agency officials should take when conducting in-person union elections. The notice comes amid pressure from many businesses to curtail mail-in voting in favor of live events.

NLRB general counsel Peter Robb’s memo to regional directors calls on board staff to strictly enforce social distancing, ensure voting sites are sanitized, provide voters with disposable pencils and use cardboard voting booths. In addition, employers should reveal how many employees have tested positive for the coronavirus — or shown symptoms — before the election.

The guidance also directs employers to certify that polling areas are clean. Regional directors can cancel elections if the new conditions are not met, the memo adds. In a related development, the Labor Department this week published a special advisory that encourages labor unions to remain operational while the pandemic continues.