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ABC’s General Counsel, Maury Baskin of Littler Mendelson, Washington, D.C., argued against the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) controversial “ambush” election final rule on March 3. Baskin argued against the rule, also known as Representation-Case Procedures, in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, New Orleans, La. on behalf of ABC of Texas, the Central Texas Chapter of ABC and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). A ruling in the case is expected in the late spring or early summer.  

During the arguments, a majority of the judges appeared to be skeptical of the NLRB’s position on a number of the issues raised in ABC’s lawsuit, including privacy concerns over the proposed compelled disclosure of employees’ personal contact information to union officials. 

The “ambush” election final rule went into effect  on April 14, 2015 and overhauls the procedures for union representation by drastically shortening the amount of time between when a union files a representation petition and an election takes place. As predicted, the amount of time from petition to election has declined, from 39 days on average down to 25 days, and in some cases as few as eight days to hold the election.  

On Jan. 13, 2015, ABC and NFIB Texas filed suit in the Western District of Texas federal court challenging the new election rules. The court upheld the rule on June 1, 2015 and ABC and NFIB appealed the decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.  

ABC has consistently opposed the NLRB’s “ambush” election rule. ABC along with more than 1,200 ABC members filed comments in April 2014 requesting the NLRB withdraw the controversial rule. The ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace also filed comments and was joined by more than 140 local organizations, including over 40 ABC chapters. Following the issuance of the final rule, ABC created a rapid response toolkit (login required) to help members deal with union organizing. In addition, ABC distributed more than 6,000 pocket guides to more than 50 chapters.