PRLog - Feb. 2, 2012 - DETROIT -- Attorney Cliff Hammond has been on both sides of the table union-wise and he says the scales are tipping in favor of unions these days as the energized National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to implement rules benefiting unions while negatively affecting non-unionized and unionized employers alike. With the news last week from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that private sector union membership is increasing again after losing 1.4 million members in 2009 and 2010, Hammond’s observations are timely.
Immediately prior to joining Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, P.C., which represents employers exclusively in labor and employment law, Hammond worked as an attorney for the largest union local in Michigan (SEIU Local 79), where he negotiated union contracts and arbitrated over 300 labor disputes. He says that experience has given him insights into spotting trends that can adversely impact employers. His particular frustration now is the NLRB’s new election rules.
The new election rules shorten the time period during which an employer may educate its employees about their right not to join a union. The new rules also delay the determination of who is or is not a supervisor until after the union election is held. This causes controversy and chaos for the employer as to who is or is not a supervisor, who is or is not properly in the bargaining unit and who can and cannot be confided in during a union election.
“I look at the fast and furious pace of recent NLRB rules that make it easier to unionize or otherwise benefit unions and I see a workplace environment in chaos. It’s impossible for employers to stay on top of the rules because they are changing so quickly,” says Hammond.
“Employers are scrambling because the NLRB is becoming much more powerful in its hold on unionized and non-unionized employees and its having an impact as the job market picks up. From the push to requiring right-to-unionize posters in the workplace, which goes into effect in April, to efforts to allow shorter union election times and smaller groups to form unions, the NLRB wants to expand its footprint,” comments Hammond. “Note the NLRB is not putting out requirements for posters that cite an employee’s right to not join a union. If this pro-labor bias continues, so will the chaos.”
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About Nemeth Burwell, P.C.: Celebrating 20 years in 2012, Nemeth Burwell (http://www.nemethburwell.com) specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest women-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.