Initial steps after filing petition

Once the DLR determines that the petitioner has filed the appropriate showing of interest and there is no impediment to processing the petition, the DLR assigns a hearing officer to the case and issues a notice of hearing. Additional details are below.

Notice of hearing

The notice of hearing provides dates for a pre-hearing conference and a hearing. The hearing is scheduled approximately 6 weeks from the date that the petition was filed.  

Despite the notice of hearing, the hearing officer continually encourages the parties to enter into a consent election agreement.

Employer's duty of neutrality

When a rival union files a petition and a proper showing of interest to represent a bargaining unit of employees currently represented by a union, the petition raises a question concerning representation. Once the employer receives the DLR's notice of hearing, it is on notice of the rival union's petition. The employer must then maintain strict neutrality, which includes not bargaining with the incumbent union during the pendency of the representation petition.


Employer must post the notice of hearing

When the employer receives the notice of hearing, it should post the notice and the petition in a place readily accessible to the employees. This is to ensure that employees affected by the filing of the petition are aware of it.

Additional information from employer

After the notice of hearing issues, the hearing officer will generally request that the employer provide the following information:

  • a list of all positions in the department, school or agency in which the petitioner is seeking to represent a bargaining unit of employees and an indication of which positions are represented by a union
  • current job descriptions for each of the petitioned-for positions
  • case numbers and dates of any prior petitions or DLR elections in the petitioned-for bargaining unit
  • the employer's legal position regarding the appropriateness of the petitioned-for bargaining unit and the factual basis for its position

Incumbent union

If the hearing officer learns that there is an incumbent union representing the employees in the proposed bargaining unit, the hearing officer will notify the incumbent union that it has 30 days from the date of the DLR's notice of hearing to file a motion to intervene.  The incumbent union need not file a showing of interest.  If an incumbent files a motion to intervene, the other parties to the petition have 7 days to file an opposition.  

If the incumbent union indicates that it does not wish to intervene, the hearing officer sends a letter to the incumbent union, with copies to the employer and the petitioner, confirming that the incumbent union has decided not to intervene.

The failure of an incumbent union to file a timely motion to intervene is treated as a disclaimer of interest in representing the petitioned-for bargaining unit employees and the incumbent union is not on any ballot or considered a necessary party to any consent agreement for election.

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