As of yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) contentious “quickie election” rule is in effect.

On Dec. 21, 2011, the then two Democratic members of the NLRB—Chairman Mark Pearce and Craig Becker—approved changes to union representation election procedures that shortened the election time frame from 56 days to 30 days. The board claims the shortened time frame will minimize unnecessary litigation, but Republicans and business interests contend that the change gives unions an unfair advantage because it increases the likelihood that unions will win elections, which is disconcerting to employers.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce challenged the board’s election changes, asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to issue a temporary injunction until after a final ruling. But on April 28, the court denied the request and allowed the new election rules to go into effect as of yesterday.

Fisher & Phillips reports that the court expects to issue a formal ruling on the merits by May 15, before any union election under the new rules takes place. Meanwhile, the law firm encourages employers to re-evaluate their current employee relations programs, train frontline supervisors and take steps to make unions unnecessary.

Visit Fisher & Phillips’ website to read more advice on dealing with the NLRB’s “quickie election” rule.