NLRB Ambush Election Rule Weakens Worker Privacy

Government should not have the power to force private-sector employers to disclose workers’ private contact information to a third party special-interest group for any cause. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the National Labor Relations Board’s new ambush election rule will do.

Once the rule goes into effect on April 14, 2015, an employer is required to hand over workers’ personal email addresses and telephone numbers to union organizers. Worse, under the rule, employees do not have the opportunity to opt-out of sharing their private information with the union attempting to organize the workforce. Neither does the rule specify whether or not employees are even notified that their private information is shared with a third party.

Unsurprisingly, labor unions applaud the new NLRB rule and strongly pushed for the inclusion of the provision that provides them with private employee information.

In sharp contrast, a Pennsylvania government union is fighting to keep employees’ private information out of public view. In a recently resolved lawsuit, the Pennsylvania State Education Association sued the Office of Open Records in an effort to keep teachers’ private information confidential and unavailable under the state’s public records law.

The Allentown Morning Call reports:

Pennsylvania government agencies may not release anyone’s home address under the Right-to-Know Law without first making the person aware their address has been requested and giving them a chance to fight it, a state court ruled Tuesday.

PSEA spokesperson David Broderic said that “the union was disappointed the courts are allowing private, personal information to be released, but was ‘at least somewhat pleased’ that the ruling established the need for due process before it gets released.”

Congress and the unelected bureaucrats at the NLRB should take note of the PSEA’s argument. Workers should know when their private information is released to a third party and have a chance to stop the proliferation of their contact information.

For legislative solutions to limit the damage of the NLRB’s ambush election rule, see the labor and employment chapter of CEI’s “Free to Prosper” agenda for Congress.