Service of the voter list on the union by the employer is mandatory and the failure to serve it will result in setting aside an employer’s election victory when a timely objection is filed by the union, the National Labor Relations Board has decided. URS Federal Services, Inc., 365 NLRB No. 1 (Dec. 8, 2016). The NLRB reversed the Acting Regional Director’s decision overruling the union’s objection.

As part of its “quickie election” rule, the NLRB provided that the employer “shall provide to the regional director and the parties… a list of the full names… [and other information] of all eligible voters.” The rule also provides that the “failure to file or serve the list ‘shall be grounds for setting aside the election whenever proper and timely objections are filed.’”

In this case, the employer timely filed the voter list within two business days of the approval of the parties’ election agreement. However, the employer did not serve the list on the union. After losing the election, the union filed an objection that the employer had not served the list on it. The Acting Regional Director for Region 20 overruled the objection and excused the employer’s failure to serve the list on the union on the grounds that the Region had provided the list to the union on a timely basis.

The union appealed to the NLRB in Washington, D.C. and the NLRB reversed the Acting Regional Director. It found the requirement that the list be served on the union by the employer was mandatory. The Board found the rule does not give “regional directors the discretion to excuse parties from complying with the voter-list service requirement.”

This requirement is one of many burdensome additional responsibilities the new rule places on employers. As a result an employer faced with a representation petition must carefully review the rules with its labor counsel to ensure full compliance. As shown by this decision, the consequences of a failure to fully comply are serious – an employer’s election victory can be overturned and a new election conducted.