On Tuesday, January 13, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Texas, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Texas and the Central Texas Chapter of ABC filed a joint lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) challenging the NLRB’s recently issued election rule expediting union representation elections. The Texas lawsuit comes on the heels of another lawsuit challenging the new election rule filed by business groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce, in the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The Texas complaint alleges that:
the new Rule makes sweeping changes in pre-eelction and post-election procedures that depart from the plain language and legislative history of the Act and exceed the Board’s statutory authority. The evident purpose of the changes is to achieve the impermissible pro-union objective of accelerating the election process to such an extent that employers will be unable to respond effectively to union organizing campaigns. The new Rule achieves this result by preventing employers in most cases from exercising their statutory rights to appropriate hearings regarding voting eligibility, and by shortening the election period so that employers have no meaningful opportunity to lawfully communicate with affected employees about their electoral rights.
Similar to the DC lawsuit, the Texas lawsuit claims that the Board provided no adequate justification for overruling “decades of Board and judicial precedent that preserved a careful balance of employer, employee, and union rights in the election process.” It also alleges that the new rule will deprive employers of “their rights to appropriate hearings and due process relating to the conduct of pre-election and post-election proceedings.”
Given that the new rule goes into effect on April 14, 2015, we expect the plaintiffs in both lawsuits to move expeditiously in an effort to get a ruling from the courts prior to that date. Stay tuned to our blog, our Twitter feed (@LRToday), and our Flipboard magazine for additional details and updates.