Latest Update on Employee Free Choice Act
Topics: New Laws & Legislation
Recognizing that there is not sufficient support in the Senate to pass the Employee Free Choice Act in its original form, Democratic legislators have been working behind closed doors on a compromise bill. The exact terms of that bill or the exact timing of when it will be introduced remain a mystery. However, information has started to leak out indicating the following:
- The compromise bill will eliminate the "card check" recognition provisions of the EFCA and will not allow union's to gain representation simply by presenting authorization cards.
Under the compromise bills, the requirement of a secret ballot union election would be preserved but modified as follows:
- The election period would be significantly shortened and required to be completed within no more than ten business days after the union presents authorization cards with at least 30% of the potential bargaining unit employees signing that they desire union representation;
- Union organizers and campaign workers would have greater access to employees during the campaign period (details still being worked out);
- Employers would be barred from requiring employees to attend anti-union meetings, but still could request their attendance at such meetings;
- The mediation and arbitration provisions of the original EFCA would not be materially modified.
We expect that the bill will be formally introduced in the Senate either this week or next. At that time, we will offer a more detailed analysis, but there is no question that even in its modified format, the EFCA is likely to significantly modify union organizing, union election campaigning and first contract bargaining process.