The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Employee Free Choice Act by a vote of 241 to 185 on March 1st. The bill now moves on to the U.S. Senate. The Act would amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and allow for “card check” recognition of labor unions. The card check process would eliminate an employee’s decision to decide whether they chose to be represented by a labor union through the more democratic means of a secret ballot election.
If the Employee Free Choice Act becomes law, it will be imperative for all non-union employers to take proactive measures to gauge their current level of vulnerability to a union organizing drive. With this type of law in place, the window for a management team to deal with employee issues and concerns that push employees toward union representation is greatly reduced. A non-union employer would no longer have the time allowed in a traditional union election cycle to uncover and understand employee issues and educate employees on the risks and realities of union representation. Management teams would also be at risk if they have not received up-to-date training on their rights and responsibilities under the NLRA.