Labor board hit with second lawsuit over 'ambush' elections

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is facing a second lawsuit from business groups upset about a controversial rule they contend will unfairly speed up union elections.

The business groups are challenging what they refer to as the NLRB's "ambush election" rule.

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The Texas chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) filed the lawsuit late Tuesday in federal court seeking to overturn the rule.

"We are proud to join the legal fight against the ambush rule, which is designed to deprive employers, particularly small businesses who typically do not employ legal counsel, of the opportunity to tell their side of the story during organizing campaigns," Josh Tompkins, president of ABC's central Texas chapter, said in a statement.

The NLRB last month reissued the union election rule after it was originally struck down in federal court because the board did not have enough members.

Labor organizations say the rule will stop management from needlessly delaying union elections and discouraging workers from organizing. But business groups complain the rule does not give them enough time to prepare for union elections.

Currently, it takes an average of 38 days to hold a union election, according to the NLRB.

But business groups speculate that, under the new rule, elections could be held in as little as two weeks.

"Not only does this rule rob employers of their due process rights, but it also mandates the distribution of employees' personal contact information to union officials, creating a major privacy concern for employees," said Jon Fisher, president of the Texas ABC.

After successfully challenging the original rule in federal court, business groups are hoping for a similar outcome this time around.

The Texas groups are the second wave of businesses to challenge the NLRB's union election rule.

A week earlier, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, National Retail Federation, and Society for Human Resource Management filed a separate lawsuit against the NLRB.

The NLRB's union election rule is schedule to take effect on April 14.