NLRB issues final union elections rule

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The National Labor Relations Board has published a final rule, known as the “microwave rule,” that provider groups say will dramatically speed up the union election process.

The rule, which was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, is set to take effect on April 30, 2012. By speeding up the union elections process, employers have a diminished ability to convey to workers the disadvantages of unionizing, long-term care groups have argued. Unions have been increasingly targeting healthcare workers, including certified nursing assistants who work in nursing homes.

Soon after publication of the final rule was announced, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Litigation Center and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace filed federal lawsuits, claiming it makes it harder for small employers to respond to union campaigns.