An NLRB election rule that would have expiated union representational elections was stuck down yesterday by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The court ruled that because a member that opposed the rule failed to vote the National Labor Relations Board did not have a quorum and therefore the vote approving the rule was void.

The election rule would have eliminated costly delays by allowing election petitions, election notices, and voter lists to be transferred electronically rather than traditional mail. The rule would have allowed the NLRB to provide compliance assistance parties involved in a union representational election thus avoiding potential unfair labor practices during the election which can lead to election results being set aside.

Many anti-worker groups and corporate interests have opposed the rule including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace which filed suit in this case.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that because NLRB Member Brian Hayes (R) failed to vote in favor or against the rule the board failed to have a quorum of members and thus the rule cannot take effect.  Member Hayes has made no secret of his opposition to the new election rule; rather than voting against the rule he simply refused and thus denied the Board a quorum.

The NLRB has temporarily suspended the implementation of the rule. It is unclear whether the Board will simply vote again on the rule or whether it will appeal the court’s ruling. The Board currently consists of three Democrats and two Republicans.