California Labor &
Employment Law Blog
Jul 27, 2009

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Under the compromise bills, the requirement of a secret ballot union election would be preserved but modified as follows:
    1. 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;
    2. Union organizers and campaign workers would have greater access to employees during the campaign period (details still being worked out);
    3. Employers would be barred from requiring employees to attend anti-union meetings, but still could request their attendance at such meetings;
    4. 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.

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For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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