Last week, the Office of the General Counsel issued an Operations Memorandum advising Regional Offices of the National Labor Relations Board that they should conduct training of field personnel on how to administer the new election processing rules. The memorandum instructs the Regions to conduct this training between April 16 and April 30, notwithstanding the pending legal challenges to implementation of the rule.

These changes in the Board’s Rules that become effective April 30, 2012, barring legal action, include:

(1) stating that the purpose of a pre-election hearing is to determine if a question concerning representation exists; (2) ensuring that pre-election hearing officers can limit the presentation of evidence to that which supports a party’s contentions and is relevant to the existence of a QCR; (3) giving pre-election hearing officers discretion to permit the filing of post-hearing briefs; (4) eliminating the parties’ right to file a preelection request for review and deferring that review until after the election; (5) removing the prohibition of scheduling elections sooner than 25 days after a decision and direction of election; (6) narrowing the circumstances under which a request for special permission to appeal to the Board will be granted; and (7) providing that all post-election hearing officer reports will be directed to the Regional Director and reviewed by the Regional Director on the filing of exceptions followed by a supplemental decision to the Board which is reviewable by a discretionary Request for Review.

The Board will conduct a “train the trainer” conference at Board Headquarters from April 10 through 13, 2012. The memo suggests the Regional Offices then conduct two training sessions the week of April 16 and the other the week of April 23; and makes reference to training materials which "have not yet been finalized."