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NLRB "Good-Faith Reasonable Doubt" Standard of Continuing Union Support Upheld
Description New business owner heard from several employees that union lacked support. Employer called for an election which union lost. NLRB decision to overturn the election violated the Board's own "good-faith reasonable doubt" standard whether calling for a polling of employees was justified.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words Unfair Labor Practice, Polling Employees
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Allentown bought its Mack truck dealership from the parent company. It employed 32 of the original 45 Mack employees. Some employees told the new owner that the union representing the workers had lost support. Allentown refused the union's request for recognition to commence collective bargaining. Allentown called for a polling of employees, who voted 19-13 against the union. The union filed an unfair-labor-practice charge with the NLRB. The Board held that the employer lacked an "objective reasonable doubt" about the union's majority status and ordered the union to be recognized. Appeals court denied review. Allentown appealed.
Decision Reversed. The "good-faith reasonable doubt" standard used by the NLRB to determine if a poll is justified as not irrational. However, a reasonable jury could not have found that Allentown lacked a "good-faith reasonable doubt" about whether the union enjoyed continuing employee support. The NLRB refused to credit probative circumstantial evidence. The board cannot assume that a continuing majority support a union until proved otherwise.
Citation Allentown Mack Sales and Service, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, 118 S.Ct. 818 (1998)

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