House Republicans are preparing to advance legislation that would give employers more time to react to union petitions.
The bill, which will come up next week, is a response to rules that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued over the summer that call for quick union elections once a petition is filed.
Business groups have attacked the elections rule, which is heavily supported by labor unions.
Kline, who sponsored the bill attacking the NLRB’s rule, said the rule allowing for fast union elections would have a “devastating” impact on companies.
The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, H.R. 3094, would give employers a minimum of 14 days to find legal representation and prepare for a hearing before the NLRB. Under the NLRB’s rule, companies have just seven days to take this step.
“Most employers can’t possibly grapple with the complexities of federal labor law in just one week,” Kline said.
The bill would also mandate that union elections can take place no earlier than 35 days after a petition is filed, rather than the 10 days currently required.
The legislation also seeks to more narrowly define work units that can collectively bargain with employers, by requiring the NLRB to ensure that these units share a “sufficient community of interest.” For example, it would require work units to have similar wages, benefits and skills, as well as sufficient contact with one another and an “integration of the work flow and inter-relationship of the production process.”
The House Rules Committee set a Nov. 17 deadline for amendments to the bill, a sign that the House could move the bill to the floor either late next week or soon thereafter.
The NRLB rule was called one of the 10 most harmful regulations proposed by the Obama administration in a memo sent by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to House Republicans in early September.