California Local’s Misconduct Invalidates Election

A “poor judgment call” by a Nat’l Labor Relations Bd. officer and election day misconduct by Service Employees Int’l Union Local 700 in San Francisco justified rejection of an NLRB bargaining order at a medical clinic, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled Mar. 10.

The employer, North of Market Senior Services “presented a compelling case” that the integrity of the election was impugned when the NLRB representative allowed Local 700 agents into the facility to tell employees when to vote, the court said. “This certainly may have given the impression that the board had ceded significant authority to the union over the conduct of the election.”  The “improper invasion” of the facility by the union agents, where they disagreed with a clinic manager over when workers could vote, “could well have given employees the impression that [the employer] was unable to protect its rights in a dispute with the union,” the court added.

Remanding the case to the board, Chief Judge Harry Edwards ordered NLRB to invalidate the election results and schedule a new election or hold a hearing on the objections raised by the employer to determine whether to hold a new election. [BNA 3/14/00]