Dodging Destructive Union Rules; Americans Want Congress to Block New Anti-Business Regulations

Article excerpt

Byline: Sen. Rand Paul, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In June 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) proposed new regulations that would do grave harm to small business, while simultaneously empowering organized labor unions. The regulations introduced by the Obama administration's NLRB would drastically shorten the union election process, encouraging one-sided campaigns. Under the current law, it takes roughly 38 days to hold a union representation election. Under this new regulation, however, employers could have as little at 10 to 14 days to communicate with their employees from the moment they learn a union is trying to organize their workforce election.

Among other things, these rushed election rules require employers to postpone legal challenges until after the workers vote. This quick process makes it more difficult for employers to effectively communicate with employees before the vote occurs. By drastically limiting the ability of employers to communicate with their employees regarding impending elections, these regulations effectively deny employees the opportunity to make informed decisions. Such regulations would place a large burden on employers - particularly small businesses that lack the legal expertise to navigate complex labor laws - and could result in numerous unintentional NLRB violations by unknowing employers.

The proposed election rules strip employers of their rights to litigate many issues in a hearing, limit parties' appellate rights and have the potential to dramatically decrease the time between the filing of a union election petition and the actual election. All of these rules are scheduled to take effect on April 30.

If, in fact, these rules are put into effect, labor unions will feel encouraged to start organizing drives in previously union-free workplaces, such as Target and Wal-Mart. But this is not something we should encourage. In fact, it is something we should strongly oppose and advise against. By implementing these regulations, we are ignoring the advice of bipartisan leaders. Then-Sen. John F. Kennedy in 1959 spoke of the importance of a safeguard against rushing employees into an election where they are unfamiliar with the issue. And today, the American people agree.

The NRLB was inundated with more than 65,000 comments regarding these proposed regulations, and a majority of these comments were opposed to it. The people of America recognize that these regulations are anti-worker, anti-employer, anti-business and anti-jobs. …