CHARLESTON – A local attorney testified before a U.S. Senate committee on Feb. 11, regarding a National Labor Relations Board regulation that will soon take effect.
Mark A. Carter, an attorney at Dinsmore & Shohl who focuses on labor law, appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pension to discuss the NLRB's "Ambush Election" regulation.
Carter said this is the most dramatic revision of labor law since he has been practicing.
"This regulation shortens the time period a campaign goes on for whether or not to join a union," Carter said. "For the last 80 years, the typical time frame is 42 days, however, with this revision it can shorten it to as little as 10 days."
Carter said the time frame is called a critical time frame and it gives employees time to make up their minds and both the union and the employer can weigh in.
The regulation makes the process very demanding and Carter said both the Senate and House of Representatives are concerned about the regulation.
Carter was asked to testify on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and he said he was honored to give his testimony at the hearing.
"This regulation will effectively prohibit employers from communicating with employees regarding the process," Carter said. "Because of the short time period in which to get everything done, employers won't be able to run their business effectively and won't be able to communicate with employees properly."
The regulation, which is scheduled to take effect on April 14, will overhaul the election process through which labor unions are certified by the NLRB to represent workers.
In his testimony, Carter demonstrated that is not a realistic timeframe for a typical employer to provide a response that is compliant to the NLRB.
"Employees, seemingly by design, are likely to receive only one candidate's perspective in an organizing campaign instead of the full and robust debate of the issues anticipated by Congress in creating the Act," Carter said in his testimony.
Carter said in his review, the only responsible vote is to conclude that this regulation should be disapproved.
"It's easier to win a campaign if your opponent is unaware of the election," Carter said.
This is the second time Carter has testified in Washington, D.C.
In February 2012, Carter testified before Congress to discuss President Barack Obama's recess appointments and how they would affect the NLRB and labor law in general.
The U.S. Supreme Court later concluded that those appointments were unconstitutional.
Carter is the Chair of the Labor Department at Dinsmore & Shohl and has a national practice.
Along with publishing articles and sections of books regarding labor law and litigation, Carter is a member of Today's General Counsel's Editorial Advisory Board and has also appeared on Fox News and C-Span.
Editor's Note: The West Virginia Record is owned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform.