NLRB rules regarding representation elections

What would cause the NLRB to set aside an election? Here are some guidelines from the NLRB’s Basic Guide to the National Labor Relations Act:

An election will be set aside if it was accompanied by conduct that the NLRB considers created an atmosphere of confusion or fear of reprisals and thus interfered with the employees’ freedom of choice. In many particular cases the NLRB does not attempt to determine whether the conduct actually interfered with the employees’ expression of free choice, but rather asks whether the conduct intended to do so. If it is reasonable to believe that the conduct would intend to interfere with the free expression of the employees’ choice, the election may be set aside. Examples of conduct the Board considers to interfere with employee free choice are:

• Threats of loss of jobs or benefits by an employer or a union to influence the votes or union activities of employees.

• A grant of benefits or promise to grant benefits to influence the votes or union activities of employ ees.

• An employer firing employees to discourage or encourage their union activities or a union causing an employer to take such action.

• An employer or a union making campaign speeches to assembled groups of employees on company time within the 24-hour period before the election.

• The incitement of racial or religious prejudice by inflammatory campaign appeals made by either an employer or a union
• Threats or the use of physical force or violence against employees by an employer or a union to influence their votes.

• The occurrence of extensive violence or trouble or widespread fear of job losses which prevents the holding of a fair election, whether caused by an employer or a union.


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