NLRB Approves Mail-In Ballots for Union Elections

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, several National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Directors have ordered that union representation elections take place via mail-in ballots, as opposed to traditional in-person voting, citing potential health risks to NLRB personnel who are normally onsite to oversee the election process. In an order issued May 8, 2020, a unanimous NLRB approved of the use of mail-in ballots in light of these “extraordinary circumstances.” While the Board’s decision does not guarantee that all representation elections throughout the country will be conducted by mail, it does signal that a Regional Director’s decision to do so based on the safety of agency personnel will most likely be upheld as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

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