Montana Labor and Employment Law Update

Jason Ritchie will be presenting the Labor and Employment law update at the 2020 CLE & Ski for the Montana State Bar Association.  Included in the update will be a discussion of the recent Montana Board of Personnel Appeals (“BOPA”) new rule that permits the certification of a labor organization as an exclusive collective bargaining representative of employees without an election.  Prior to this rule, the BOPA required an election before certifying the union.

New Rule

A union can now be certified without an election if:  (1) the number of authorization cards submitted exceeds 50% of the number of employees in the proposed bargaining unit; (2) a counter-petition is not filed within 10 days of the date the board mailed the petition for unit determination to the employer; (3) a petition to intervene is not filed within 10 days of the employer posting notice of the unit determination proceeding.

Election Still Required

An election is still required when at least 30%-50% of the number of employees in the proposed bargaining unit submit authorization cards.  Less than 30%, the petition for union certification should be dismissed without an election.

Authorization Card Requirements

In order for the authorization card to be considered, it must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Employee name
  • Employee signature
  • Date of Employee’s signature (must be within six months of the petition for certification)
  • Statement that the employee designates the union as exclusive representative;
  • Statement that the employee understands that the cared may be used to obtain certification without an election.

Bottom Line

The new rules make it easier for unions to be certified as the exclusive representative of employees.  To learn more about the new rules, give me a call or join me at the State Bar of Montana CLE & SKI in Big Sky.