ABC celebrated a major victory May 14 when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) “ambush” elections rule because it was adopted without the statutorily required quorum of NLRB members. 

“This is a great victory for the merit shop construction industry, and employers and employees across the country,” said ABC Vice President of Federal Affairs Geoffrey Burr. “We said all along that the “ambush” elections rule was made in haste without regard or consideration to the proper procedures, and that the rule would have a negative impact on the nation’s small businesses.” 

The “ambush” elections rule was a controversial final rule issued by the NLRB in December 2011 that overhauled procedures for union representation elections. The rule became effective on April 30 before the court overturned it. 

Under the rule, the amount of time between when a union filed a representation petition and an election took place would have been reduced from the current average of around 40 days to as few as 17 to 20 days. 

The ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, filed the legal challenge in February. CDW argued that the rule denied employers their rights to due process and pre-election communication with their employees, which in turn would have denied employees their right to balanced information. In addition, it would have encouraged the kind of back-door union organizing sought through the deceptively named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).