NLRB Drops Appeal of Ambush Elections Rule, Reissuance Expected

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Dec. 9 agreed to dismiss its appeal of a court ruling invalidating its controversial “ambush” election rule, which would have drastically reduced the amount of time between when a union files a representation petition and an election takes place.
The ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, filed a legal challenge in February 2012 against the rule on the grounds that it was adopted without the statutorily required quorum of NLRB members. In May 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned the rule.  Although the NLRB appealed the ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an order of abeyance on the appeal, proposed by the CDW, which temporarily suspended consideration of the appeal.  

“The CDW is pleased to have supported the fight against ambush elections and we are glad to see a boost for workplace fairness,” said ABC Vice President and CDW Chairman Geoff Burr.

Although the NLRB’s decision to drop its appeal is a victory for employers and employees, the now fully-staffed NLRB is expected to reissue the rule very soon and could shorten election timeframes to as few as 10 days. In fact, newly confirmed board member Kent Hirozawa recently confirmed “that the NLRB continues to consider changes to its regulations on representation case procedures” and the ambush elections rule is listed as the sole item in the NLRB’s Nov. 26 regulatory agenda.

“Unfortunately, we believe this victory will be temporary,” said Burr. “The President has consistently sought to appoint nominees to the Labor Board who seem bent on achieving an agenda loved by union bosses but disliked by voters, legislators, and employees at millions of workplaces.”

In addition, the ambush elections rule is designed to work hand in glove with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) persuader rule, which would deprive employees of their right to obtain balanced and informed input from both sides as they decide whether to be represented by a union. A final persuader rule is listed on DOL’s 2014 regulatory agenda for March. 

For more information about CDW’s ongoing litigation in the ambush elections case, visit