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  • Kevin Cleveland

Significant Change to Unionization

As a warning to all employers, a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board has changed what an employer must do if presented with evidence that a majority of its employees have designated a union as their collective bargaining representative. Previously, when confronted with such evidence, an employer could refuse to recognize the union and then the union would have to petition the NLRB for an election. Now, that burden falls on the employer, and failing to timely request an election could require the employer to have to recognize and bargain with the union without an election ever being held. As a result, when a union presents anemployer with evidence that a majority of its employees have designated the union as their collective bargaining representative, an employer has three options:

  1. Recognize the union Immediately. If this is done the employer will just immediately recognize the union and can start the collective bargaining process.

  2. Do nothing and defend against a charge of refusing to bargain where the result may be recognizing the union and requiring bargaining without an election being held.

  3. File an NLRB petition for an election within two weeks. This should only be done if the employer doubts the union’s majority status―or wishes to test the union’s majority support and/or challenge the appropriateness of the union’s proposed bargaining unit.

In short, if a union knocks on your door, quickly talk to an attorney as failure to challenge the union within two weeks could result in an inability to challenge the union or the proposed bargaining unit. The experts who work with the Young, Cohen & Durrett are ready to assist so make sure to call if this happens.


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