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Judge Rejects New Rule on Union Organizing

Wall Street Journal (05/15/12) Melanie Trottman

Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has struck down a rule designed to make it easier for unions to hold organizing elections on the grounds that the National Labor Relations Board lacked a quorum when it passed the measure in December. The ruling is a victory for business groups that challenged the regulation.

The rule, which made it tougher for employers to stall union-organizing drives in the work place, received votes from two of the board’s three members, both Democrats. At the time, the five-member board had two vacant seats. The third member, Republican Brian Hayes, who had previously voted against a proposed version of the rule, did not cast a vote. The board must have a quorum of at least three to vote on new rules. The judge said he was ruling on the nature of the vote, not on the rule’s legality, and that nothing appears to prevent “a properly constituted quorum of the board” from voting to adopt the rule.