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100% of our employees signed and delivered to us a decertification

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petition. It was too late...
100% of our employees signed and delivered to us a decertification petition. It was too late for the 30 day window. We waited 1.5 months for the 3 year contract to expire. The contract expired Sunday, May 31. No one was in the Union office to take our calls. We told the Union rep Monday June 1. He says we missed our opportunity because it expired Sunday. But the contract that they wrote says nothing about how to handle a weekend or holiday situation. Union rep goes back and forth between 3 responses: 1) We have to wait 5 years for new contract to expire, 2) we have to give them 60 days notice, 3) the NLRB has to vote on it. I don't agree. I feel we are out of the union as of our notification. Any advice would be appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Employment Law
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6/19/2015
Employment Lawyer: John, Employment Lawyer replied 2 years ago
John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience: Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is John. I have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
You need to a) time your petition for decertification as follows and b)file a petition with the NLRB; you can't just ask the union to decertify.
In short what you will need to do is have a decertification election, this means that the total unit will have the opportunity to vote on whether to keep the union or not. To start off with you will need a showing of interest - generally a showing of cards to the NLRB of at least 30% of employees who wish to decertify the union.
There are some rules on whether a decert can even occur. The National Labor Relations Board maintains many rules governing when employees can file for a decertification election. The first rule is the "certification bar," which holds that petitions for a decertification election cannot be filed for 1 year after a union wins an NLRB conducted election.
Another important rule is the "contract bar," which holds that petitions for a decertification election cannot be filed during the first 3 years of a collective bargaining agreement, except for during a certain 30-day "window period." In most workplaces, the 30-day “window period” for filing a decertification petition with the NLRB occurs 60 to 90 days prior to the expiration date or 3 year anniversary of the contract, whichever comes first. In the health care industry (such as hospitals), the 30-day “window period” occurs 90 to 120 days prior to the expiration date of the contract or 3 year anniversary of the contract, whichever comes first.
A decertification petition can also be filed anytime after a contract expires or becomes more than 3 years old. However, if your employer and the union enter into a successor contract, the new contract will begin another 3 year "contract bar" on decertification elections. Thus, if you miss the "window period" for filing a petition for a decertification election, you may have to wait for another 3 years to request a decertification election.
Under the National Labor Relations Act, if 30% or more of the employees in a bargaining unit sign a Decertification Petition, the National Labor Relations Board will conduct a secret ballot election to determine if a majority of the employees wish to decertify the union and stop it from any further “exclusive representation.”; this is the only way to formally decertify a union. If the petitioning employees win that election, then the company becomes nonunion and all employees are free to bargain on their own, and negotiate their own terms and conditions of employment. Moreover, if 50% or more of the employees in a bargaining unit sign a petition that they no longer want to be represented by the union, the employer can withdraw recognition without an election if it wishes to do so, but this is voluntary on the part of the employer - it does not have to do this. (Except where the contract bar applies, as discussed above.)
If it is less than 50% the NLRB holds an election. You begin the process by attaining the 30% of required signatures and filing NLRB form 502 with your local NLRB office. See this link http://www.nlrb.gov/what-we-do/conduct-elections
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Employment Lawyer: John, Employment Lawyer replied 2 years ago
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I may not have been clear in my question, but there is one new piece of information I would like to clarify on the phone with you...How do we handle this with the NLRB since 100% wishes to not be part of the union? Also, you didn't address the Sunday May 31 vs Monday Jun 1 issue. Any opinion on that?
Employment Lawyer: John, Employment Lawyer replied 2 years ago
Having a 100% showing of interest to decertify the union makes no difference in the NLRB process. Even though it's a formality, a decertification election would still have to occur. BUt if your union just signed a new contract, then you are contract barred in any event, the NLRB cannot help you.
The May 31 versus June 1 issue you cite is not an issue at all. From my understanding no one in your union filed a petition for decertification with the NLRB in the window period, and now, a new contract has been entered (if this is not correct let me know). So you now have a 3 year contract bar. When the current contract runs for 3 years you can properly file for decertification with the NLRB. Contacting the union and telling them you want to decertify means nothing legally...it has no effect. There is no exception to this - i.e., you cannot claim the union mislead you by not answering the phone call not telling you how to decertify from it.
I hope this clarifies the matter. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
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Employment Lawyer: John, Employment Lawyer replied 2 years ago
I am sending you this follow-up to determine if you require further assistance with your matter. I believe I have answered your question to the best of my abilities. I truly enjoy helping others with my knowledge and experience, and I believe I provide a valuable service. If you agree that my response was of value to you, please support my endeavor to share my knowledge by providing a positive rating. You have already been charged the full amount for your question. Providing a positive rating will not cost you any additional charge, but it will permit the website to credit me with answering your question. Otherwise, the website does not credit me with answering your question. Thanks.
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