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Less Is Not More When It Comes to Union Voter Lists

Published:  October 27, 2015

The Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") for Region One recently affirmed a Hearing Officer's recommendation for a re-run election after the Danbury Hospital narrowly defeated a unionization effort, by a vote of 346 "for" and 390 "against."  The Hearing Officer held, and the Regional Director agreed, that the Hospital had failed to provide the petitioning union with "available" personal cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses of employees on the voter list, as required by the NLRB's new election rules.  Specifically, the Hearing Officer found that, while the Hospital had provided all the contact information contained in the employee database maintained by its Human Resources Department, more up-to-date and complete contact information was available through other sources, such as the software system used by the Emergency Department to "blast" information, or the scheduling program used by the hospital's staffing office.  The Regional Director agreed that the Danbury Hospital had failed to use a "reasonable amount of diligence" in compiling the voter information and ordered that a new election be conducted. 

As this case demonstrates, and despite the short deadlines imposed by the NLRB's new election rules, employers must conduct a thorough search of their files in preparing voter lists and must take caution to comply with all other procedural requirements that went into effect this April, as other violations may likewise result in re-run elections.  If you have any questions about the NLRB or the recent changes to its election rules, please contact any of the attorneys at Royal LLP at (413) 586-2288.