Eugene Scalia of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal discussing the Obama Administration's new rules changing organizing elections for unions. Scalia writes:
Government encroachments typically come as a wolf in sheep's clothing, Justice Antonin Scalia once observed, but occasionally they are brazen - then, the "wolf comes as a wolf." The Obama administration recently proposed a pair of rules to help unions win workplace elections. One rule is obviously a wolf. The other is a pretty creepy looking sheep.
Under the first rule, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is now allowing unions to give companies only ten days' notice before they hold organizing elections. A union could hold a hearing determining important issues related to such an election, such as who can vote, a week after it petitions for the election.
Click here for a NLRB fact sheet on the new election rules.
The second rule (the "creepy looking sheep," as Scalia puts it), proposed by the Department of Labor, requires increased disclosure of details of the relationship between the company and outside parties hired to consult on union issues. This rule limits the current exception allowing companies not to disclose details about their relationships with firms that merely "advise" the company rather than directly persuading the employees.
Click here for the Department of Labor's announcement of the proposed disclosure rule.
The election rule, Scalia writes, is intended to increase union power over what employees hear and decide as the company scrambles to catch up with a union that has been planning to launch its election announcement for months. The disclosure rule, he argues, seeks to hamper the efforts of companies to inform their workers about the consequences of their votes on union matters because these companies do not wish to report sensitive, strategic activities in government filings. Both, Scalia says, are a gift from the Obama Administration to unions.
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