The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has announced new rules regarding mail ballot solicitation.
In Professional Transportation, Inc., the NLRB changed existing law and held that it is objectionable conduct for a union or an employer to solicit mail ballots (that is, to offer to collect, handle, or mail them) before a mail ballot union election.
Under the new standard, the results of a mail ballot election will be set aside if there is evidence showing that a union or a company solicited ballots from enough voters to affect the outcome of the election.
In this case, the NLRB found that a union organizer who said to several workers, “If you need help on getting it sent back one way or the other, I can help you with that” was soliciting the workers’ mail ballots. But, because the organizer did not solicit ballots from enough workers to affect the outcome of the election, the NLRB upheld the results of the election.
To be safe, it is best for organizers to carefully avoid offering to collect, send, or mail workers’ ballots.
However, this decision does not otherwise limit the union’s ability to campaign before a mail ballot election. In addition, the decision does not prevent organizers from offering workers general instructions about how to fill out ballots, reminding workers to vote, asking workers if they have already voted, or having discussions about voting either in person or by phone or video.
If you have any questions, please have your Region Director contact Amanda Jaret in the Legal Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.