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Are You a Union Shop? Are You Prepared to Be?

We have all heard the phrase, “there are two types of people in the world. Those who… and those who…” The blank spot is usually then filled in with whatever point someone is trying to make.

In the world of business, you can make a strong case that the old adage that holds truest is “those who are union and those who are not”.

Well, many “who are not” maybe counting down the days to when they will be.

Picture of industry workers.

On December 15th, the NLRP, in a 3-2 decision, pushed through their new rules for unionization. Not to scare the non-union employers, but the two dissenters referred to the new rules as “’the Mount Everest of regulations’, massive in scale and unforgiving in effect”. A recent article in the National Law Review goes into greater detail of the rules that are due to go into effect on April 14, 2015.

As a sales rep in the PEO industry, I’m acutely aware of the impact government regulations can have on businesses, particularly small businesses that don’t have the resources or the manpower to protect themselves in ways the big corporations do. In 2009, shortly after the election, we had a meeting with a leading labor attorney who speculated about what might happen with the NLRB with the new administration.

For years, the unionization procedures for a company were pretty simple. A union rep would begin talking with employees seeing if there was a 50% + 1 majority interest in exploring a union. From that point, the employer would be notified and he/she would then have a certain amount of time to campaign or state their case as to why the union would be a bad idea for the company and in turn for the employees.

With this ruling, the momentum has swung to the union’s side both in ease and support of unionization. Without getting too much into the above-mentioned article, the new rules “elections occur more quickly – by eliminating the time for reasonable preparation; by adopting new, accelerated pleading requirements applicable only to employers; by dispensing with post-hearing briefs; and by deferring, until following the election, evidence regarding issues as fundamental as who can vote.”

If this is of concern to you, I would suggest you read the National Law Review article thoroughly, speak with your own trusted advisors, or absent that, reach out to a PEO to see how this could impact you and if there’s anything you can do to address this in your business.

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