Committee Leaders File Amicus Brief Urging NLRB to End Employer Gerrymandering of Union Representation Elections

WASHINGTON – On Friday, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) and Committee Democrats filed an amicus brief urging the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to reinstate a policy under the Specialty Healthcare precedent to prevent anti-union employers from gerrymandering union representation elections. 

In the brief, the Members describe how the current standard – established by the Trump-era NLRB – gives employers excessive power to determine who can participate in a union election. As a result, employers can more easily rig union elections by forcing a group of workers seeking to form a union to absorb workers who may have never expressed interest in joining a union.

Under the NLRB’s traditional standard, which the Board reaffirmed in its 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision, an employer could only add workers to a unit of employees petitioning for a union representation election if those workers shared a “community of interest,” such as wages, work hours, terms and conditions of employment, and supervision. However, under the Trump Administration, the NLRB issued two decisions—PCC Structurals and Boeing—that disrupted this long-accepted standard by permitting employers to more easily require a voting unit of employees to include workers who are indifferent or even opposed to forming a union.

“PCC Structurals and Boeing have undermined the promise of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by replacing the ‘overwhelming community of interest’ standard with an opaque balancing test that lacks any basis in the NLRA and adds employees to the voting pool upon the request of the employer to dilute support for the union,” the Members wrote in the brief. “The Committee urges a return to the Board’s traditional standard articulated in Specialty Healthcare in order to prevent employers from gerrymandering union representation elections.”

The amicus brief was signed by the following Members: Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Rep. Andy Levin (MI-09), Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Rep. Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-07), Rep. Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12), Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), and Rep. Joe Morelle (NY-25).

For the full amicus brief, click here




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