Council comments on the proposed NLRB “Ambush Election” regulation

April 2014
Contact: Frank Kerbein

Mr. Gary Shinners
Executive Secretary
National Labor Relations Board
1099 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20570

Re: Proposed Rule Governing Representation Case
Procedures Docket ID No. NLRB-2011-0002

Dear Mr. Shinners:

While our organization is signing onto group comments to be submitted by the National Association of Manufacturers, this is such an important issue that we are also submitting our own individual comments.

On behalf of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. and it’s more than 2300 member organizations across New York State, I request that the proposed rule be withdrawn. The Board has simply not established the need for changes to the election rules.

With the average time for a representation election for all petitions filed at 31 days, even contested and other types of decisions have been issued well within the timeframe goals established by the General Counsel, making these wholesale changes in the rule unjustifiable. The Business Council is concerned that the proposed changes will improperly interfere with our members’ ability to communicate with and provide information to their employees concerning a union representation campaign. Without sufficient time for employers to communicate, their employees will not have adequate time to make an informed decision, significantly limiting the employees' right to a "robust debate" of workplace issues.

The proposed rule does not properly balance the rights of employees, employers and labor unions in the pre-election period. The shortened timeframe deprives our member companies of their due process rights under the National Labor Relations Act. For example, under the proposal, expedited elections could be conducted before a hearing is held regarding critical questions such as who is actually eligible to vote. In addition, the proposal would require that employers turn over employee telephone numbers and e-mail addresses but does not make clear whether this requirement refers to home or work contact information. Our members are concerned about their employees’ right to privacy and the workplace implications of this new proposed requirement.

For these reasons, coupled with a lack of justification of the rule's necessity, The Business Council of New York State, Inc. respectfully requests that the rule be withdrawn.


Frank Kerbein
Director, Center for Human Resources 
The Business Council of New York State, Inc.