House passes bill that reins in NLRB

Michael P. Tremoglie Dec. 1, 2011, 7:34pm


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) The U.S. House of Representatives has passed The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, legislation that its sponsor says will allow employers to participate in fair union election processes.

The bill was introduced by House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., and passed in the House on Wednesday in a vote of 235 to 188.

"Today, the House of Representatives took a critical step to defend the rights of workers and employers," said Kline. "The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act is a responsible effort to protect employers' free speech and defend workers' free choice. I am pleased H.R. 3094 received the bipartisan support it deserves."

The bill was passed on the same day the NLRB was pushing forward with rule changes that accelerate the process and shorten the time frame that companies must allow for elections to determine union representation are held. This new procedure has been criticized as being blatantly pro-union at the expense of businesses and non-union employees.

According to Rep. Kline's office, the WDFA ensures employers are able to participate in a fair union election process. The legislation provides employers at least 14 days to prepare their case to present before an NLRB election officer and an opportunity to raise additional concerns throughout the pre-election hearing.

It also guarantees workers have the ability to make a fully informed decision in a union election. Workers will have a chance to hear both sides of the debate on issues that can determine how a worker votes will be decided before ballots are cast.

The WDFA reinstates the traditional standard for determining which employees will vote in the union election, restoring a standard that was developed through years of consideration and Congressional guidance.

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