The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is considering changing its rules about the solicitation of mail ballots before a union election.
On December 2, 2020, in a case called Professional Transportation, Inc., the NLRB accepted an employer’s invitation to reconsider existing rules about the solicitation of mail ballots. In this case, the employer argued that the union improperly influenced the election by calling and text messaging employees to provide information about how to fill out mail ballots, to remind them to vote, and to offer to collect their ballots. The employer argued that by offering to collect employees’ ballots, the union interfered with the election. As a result, the employer argued that the union’s win should be overturned.
Under current law, the NLRB considers it objectionable conduct for an employer or a union to collect mail ballots from employees before a mail ballot election. If an employer or a union collects mail ballots, the NLRB may require a rerun election.
Until now, the NLRB has not ruled that it is objectionable conduct if an employer or a union solely offers to collect mail ballots, but does not actually collect the ballots. By granting review in the Professional Transportation case, the Trump NLRB has signaled that it will take a stricter approach regarding mail ballot solicitation.
To avoid the possibility that the NLRB will overturn the results of an election, it is best for organizers to avoid soliciting ballots or offering to collect employees’ ballots. However, organizers can still ask workers if they have received their ballots in the mail, provide general guidance or instructions about how to fill out the mail ballot, and remind employees to vote.
If you have any questions, please have your Region Director contact Amanda Jaret at firstname.lastname@example.org.