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 Corey Higgins

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May 16, 2012

On May 14, 2012, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (the "Court") held that the National Labor Relations Board's (the "Board") expedited representation election rule that went into effect on April 30, 2012, is invalid because the Board lacked a quorum of Board members as it only had two members, rather than the necessary three, when it voted to promulgate the new rule. Chamber of Commerce v. NLRB, No. 11-2262 (D.D.C. May 14, 2012). The Board's rule would have shortened the median timeframe between the filing of a union representation petition and a union election from 42 days to 14-21 days. This shortened timeframe would undoubtedly have negatively impacted the ability of employers to respond to union campaigns, resulting in a greater likelihood of union victories in Board-conducted elections.


The Court noted that the Board presently operates with five members, and nothing in the Court's decision prevents the Board from voting on the rules again. In response to the Court's decision, the Board has temporarily suspended the implementation of changes to its representation case process and has advised its regional directors to return to previous procedures for election petitions.


This decision, as was the case with the Board's recent posting requirement, will likely be appealed. As always, we will monitor these developments and keep you updated.

Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits Group

Mirick O'Connell

100 Front Street

Worcester, MA  01608

t 508.791.8500

f 508.791.8502


1800 West Park Drive, Suite 400

Westborough, MA  01581

t 508.898.1501

f 508.898.1502


Mirick O'Connell is a full-service law firm with offices in Worcester, Westborough and Boston, Massachusetts.  The Firm's principal practice groups include Business; Creditors' Rights, Bankruptcy and Reorganization; Elder Law; Family Law and Divorce; Intellectual Property; Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits; Land Use and Environmental Law; Litigation; Personal Injury; Public and Municipal Law; and Trusts and Estates.
This client alert is intended to inform you of developments in the law and to provide information of general interest.  It is not intended to constitute legal advice regarding a client's specific legal issues and should not be relied upon as such.  This client alert may be considered advertising under the rules of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.