District Court Reviews NLRB Union Election Rules


In a case that does not seem to have attracted much notice, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a very long opinion rejecting the arguments made by a number of major business trade groups that the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) union election rules exceed the agency’s statutory authority, are arbitrary and capricious and violate employers’ rights under the First and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution.  This case is Chamber of Commerce of the United States, et al. v. NLRB, decided July 29, 2015.

The District Court expressed some frustration with the plaintiffs’ failure to specify to the court’s satisfaction exactly how these new rules violated the National Labor Relations Act or the Constitution.  In the view of the court, the lawsuit is simply litigating significant policy disagreements, albeit one that elicited two dissents from other members of the Board. Two district court rulings on this issues have now been released—one in the Western District of Texas, and this decision by the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, and each ruling affirmed the decision of the NLRB.