NLRB’s Proposal to Speed Up Union Election Timeframe, Not Appropriate for Senior Living Industry

A proposed rule from The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will create additional costs and burden employers if passed according to the Assisted Living Federation of America.

Last week, the NLRB proposed a rule that would dramatically reduce the timeframe between the filing of a petition for union election and the actual date of the election.  The NLRB says the amendments are intended to reduce unnecessary litigation, streamline pre- and post-election procedures, and facilitate the use of electronic communications and document filing.

“One of the most important duties of the NLRB is conducting secret-ballot elections to determine whether employees want to be represented by a labor union,” said Chairman Wilma B. Liebman in a statement. “Resolving representation questions quickly, fairly, and accurately has been an overriding goal of American labor law for more than 75 years.”


Groups like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have been making a push to organize senior living groups said Rick Grimes, President of ALFA during an interview with SHN.

The trade group says such moves are not appropriate in the senior living industry.  “It creates additional costs and a burden on employees and consumers,” said Grimes.

ALFA says the proposal will significantly restrict an employer’s ability and right to communicate with their employees and deprive employees of critical information needed to make informed decisions regarding whether they wish to be represented by a union.


“The rules if adopted will also empower unions to more frequently conduct ambush campaigns,” said Paul Williams, senior director of government relations for ALFA.  ” In many organizing campaigns, especially those directed at small businesses, ambush elections are often conducted months prior to a petition being filed.”

Should the rule be adopted, businesses will not have adequate time to properly respond to the campaigns says ALFA.

NLRB says that union elections take too long, while its annual report says median time for an election (from the time a petition is filed to the vote by employees) is 38 days. Over 90 percent of all union elections occur within 56 days.

Earlier this week, SEIU home care workers announced the launch of Caring Across Generations Campaign to raise the standards for both direct caregivers and consumers of care.