Of course, no one can be certain of the exact workplace effects of Tuesday’s Presidential election results. But, at least one major change in employment law is pretty certain – and it is a change that all employers, large and small, in all industries, should be planning for now.
President-Elect Obama has stated clearly his support for the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). His election, together with additional Democratic seats picked up in the Senate and Congress, make the passage of EFCA in 2009 a very strong likelihood. That will mean the most dramatic change in labor law in this country in decades.
As a reminder, there are two significant provisions of the EFCA: First, unions will be able to demand bargaining rights based solely on cards that they can pressure employees to sign face-to-face. The protection of a secret-ballot election will be taken away. Second, if labor negotiations between a union and employer for a first contract reach impasse, an outside arbitrator will dictate the terms of that key first contract.