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Executive Summary: The National Labor Relations Board's Acting General Counsel has issued a guidance Memorandum and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) addressing the Board's December 2011 "Ambush Election" Rules. The Memorandum and FAQs are available on the Board's web site at: http://www.nlrb.gov/. The new rules take effect April 30, 2012 and will apply to all representation cases filed on or after that date.
The new rules do not explicitly establish new time frames for conducting hearings or elections. Eventually time frames are likely to be cut roughly in half once the Board has developed some experience and expertise in processing representational petitions under the new rules. For example, the current practice is to hold NLRB conducted elections within approximately 42 days (6 weeks) from the filing of the petition to the actual date of the election. Once the Board and the practitioners before it become more familiar with the new rules, union-free employers can reasonably expect that the 40 day approximate time frame will be incrementally shortened like an accordion folding in half.
Highlights of the Memorandum and FAQs
Following are some of the more significant issues addressed in the 24-page Memorandum and FAQs:
Employers' Bottom Line:
The new rules likely will result in a shortened time frame for conducting hearings and elections; however, the shortening of these time frames probably will occur incrementally as the Board and practitioners become more familiar with the new rules. If you have any questions regarding the Memorandum or other labor or employment issues, please contact Keith Warren, email@example.com, who is a partner in our Memphis office, or the Ford & Harrison attorney with whom you usually work.
 For more information on the new rules, please see our December 23, 2011 Legal Alert, "Board Publishes Ambush Election Rules," located at: http://www.fordharrison.com/shownews.aspx?show=7840.