On April 14th, Barack Obama’s appointees at the National Labor Relations Board enacted what are referred to as “ambush election rules.”
In addition to drastically shortening the timeframe from a union petitioning to hold an election and the NLRB conducting the election, the union attorneys at the NLRB are now mandating that companies facing a union election must now provide a list of:
- Employee voters’ names
- Their home addresses
- Their personal telephone numbers
- Their email addresses…
As well as:
- The shift the individual employee works on, and
- The individual employee’s job classification
Despite unions’ desiring more, it only takes three out of ten (30%) of employees to sign union authorization cards to trigger an election.
Once a petition for an NLRB election is filed, a company facing an election has no choice but to turn the above information over to the NLRB. The NLRB, in turn, will give the information to the union trying to unionize the employees.
While unions have long been entitled to obtain voting employees’ names and their addresses, the level of employee information now required to be turned over to union organizers is unprecedented.
Union organizers making house calls to the homes of employees is fairly routine during organizing campaigns.
Now, however, employees should expect home visits, telephone calls, text messages (if the number provided is a cell phone), as well as emails.
In Congress, to counter the NLRB’s mandated invasion of employee privacy, Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) introduced the Employee Privacy Protection Act, which gives employees (not unions) greater control over what information union organizers receive:
- Empowers workers to control the disclosure of their personal information. Employers would have seven days to provide a list of employee names and one additional piece of contact information chosen by each individual employee.
- Modernizes the union election process. In the age of email and smart phones, relying on home addresses is both outdated and dangerous. The bill allows employees to choose the easiest and safest way to communicate with union organizers.
- Rolls back NLRB policies that jeopardize the privacy of working families. When enacted, the legislation would overturn the board’s radical invasion of employee privacy.
However, unless there are 67 Senators willing to override a likely Presidential veto, the bill will not get far.
As a result, perhaps the best way for employees to keep their personal information from falling into the wrong hands is to persuade their co-workers not to sign union authorization cards.