GovTrack’s Bill Summary
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Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
11/30/2011--Passed House amended.
(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on November 10, 2011.
The summary of that version is repeated here.) Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act - Amends the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to revise requirements for determination by the National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) of an appropriate bargaining unit before an election of collective bargaining representation.
(In effect reverses the NLRB's August 26, 2011, decision in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation of Mobile and its June 22, 2011, rulemaking regarding proposed changes to procedures involving the election of collective bargaining representation.) Replaces the current restriction in the meaning of collective bargaining unit to employer unit, craft unit, plant unit, or subdivision.
Requires the NLRB, instead, to determine a unit as appropriate for collective bargaining if it consists of employees that share a sufficient community of interest.
Specifies factors the NLRB must consider when making such determinations.
Prohibits exclusion of employees from the unit unless the group's interest are sufficiently distinct from those of other employees to warrant the establishment of a separate unit.
Requires the NLRB, upon due notice, to provide a hearing at least 14 days after the filing of an election petition for collective bargaining representation to investigate those petitions the NLRB has reasonable cause to believe have a question of representation affecting commerce.
Requires such hearings be non-adversarial.
Requires the NLRB to:
(1) direct an election by secret ballot as soon as practicable, but in any event not before 35 calendar days following the filing of an election petition, in cases where a question of representation exists; and
(2) acquire, at least 7 days after its final determination of the appropriate bargaining unit, a list of all eligible voters (including certain informational data) from the employer and make it available to all parties.
House Republican Conference Summary
The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
This summary can be found at http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/1/hr3094.
According to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, on June 22, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that will significantly change procedures that govern union elections. The proposed rule represents a dramatic shift in union election procedures that have been in place for decades. The NLRB’s proposal will, among other things:
- Provide employers just seven days to find legal counsel and prepare their entire case to be presented at the NLRB pre-election hearing;
- Give workers as little as ten days to consider all the consequences of joining a union before they have to vote in the election;
- Severely limit an employer’s ability to raise additional issues or concerns throughout the election hearing process; and
- Require that employers provide to the union even more intrusive information about their employees, including home or cell phone numbers, personal email addresses, and work schedules.
In August, 2011, the Board also adopted a new standard in its Specialty Healthcare decision for determining which group or “unit” of employees will vote in the union election. This new standard makes it almost impossible for anyone to challenge the bargaining unit chosen by the union. The decision will divide employees and raise an employer’s labor costs.
H.R. 3094 would amend the National Labor Relations Act to define how the National Labor Relations Board may determine a unit for purposes of collective bargaining. The bill would also provide minimum and maximum time frames in which action should be taken in response to the filing of election petitions.
Specifically, the bill would prohibit a pre-election hearing from taking place less than 14 calendar days after a petition for an election has been filed. H.R. 3094 would require the following:
- That a pre-election hearing be non-adversarial and identify any issues before the election. The bill would require the Board to decide all issues that may make the election unnecessary or that may reasonably be expected to impact the election’s outcome;
- Both unions and employers may raise any relevant and material issue or position at any time prior to the conclusion of the pre-election hearing;
- The Board must consider all requests for review filed at the conclusion of the pre-election hearing;
- An election be held as soon as practicable but not less than 35 calendar days from the filing a petition for an election;
- The Board to determine the group of employees or “unit” that is appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining prior to the election;
- That when determining which employees will be included in the bargaining unit in a representational election, the Board apply the long-standing “sufficient community of interest” test. The legislation would outline eight factors the Board shall consider as it determines which employees will be a part of the bargaining unit, such as wages and benefits, and skills and training;
- That in cases in which a union seeks to add to its membership non-union workers (known as accretions), the Board shall maintain the current “overwhelming community of interest” standard;
- That after the pre-election hearing, the Board will receive from the employer a list of all eligible voters and make the list available to the union. The bill would require that the list include the employees’ names and one additional form of personal employee contact information chosen by the employee in writing.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting H.R. 3094 would have no budgetary effect. Because enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.
So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.
We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.