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Court Strikes Down NLRB "Quickie Election" Rule

On May 14, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia struck down the National Labor Relations Board's ("NLRB") "quickie election" rules. The new rules went into effect just a few weeks ago, on April 30.

The Court did not address the merits of the new rule. Instead, the ruling focused on a procedural deficiency. The NLRB is a five member board. At the time the new election rules were adopted, there were three NLRB members. But only two of them participated in the decision to adopt the new rule. The Supreme Court ruled a few years ago that the NLRB must have a quorum to act. By acting with only two members present, the NLRB violated that requirement. The lone Republican member, Brian Hayes, refused to participate in the meeting.

This victory may be short-lived, however. The present NLRB could meet and re-issue the rule with a quorum present and voting in favor. Of course, that action might itself spawn additional litigation. Some have already questioned the authority of the present NLRB, given that three of its five members assumed their position via recess appointments.

In any event, it is highly likely that the decision from May 14 will not be the last word on the subject. We will keep you informed as matters develop, so look for future Alerts on this topic.

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