On October 12, 2011, the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing on the proposed “Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act” (H.R.3094) recently introduced by Republicans. The purpose of the legislation is to the proposed legislation is to roll back some recent decisions of the National Labor Relations Board and block its proposed rule that would speed up the representation election process. Specifically, H.R. 3094 would:
●Provide employers at least 14 days to prepare their case to present before a NLRB election hearing officer and an opportunity to raise additional concerns throughout the hearing process up to the close of the hearing.
●Provide that no NLRB representation election will be held in less than 35 days after filing of the petition.
●Reinstates the traditional standard for determining which employees will be eligible to vote in the union election.
●Provides that once an election is directed, eligible voters in the election must select in writing what sort of personal contact information they want released to the petitioning union in addition to their name, i.e., telephone number, email address, or mailing address.
Witnesses testifying were: attorney Charles Cohen, a Republican and former Member of the National Labor Relations Board, Robert Sullivan, President of R.G. Sullivan Consulting, on behalf of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, attorneys Michael J. Hunter, who represents unions, and Phillip B. Russell, who represents employers.
The proposed legislation may pass the House, but most certainly cannot pass in the Senate at this point in time.