The Employee Free Choice Act
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[Excerpt] This report discusses legislative attempts to amend the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") to allow for union certification without an election, based on signed employee authorizations. The Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA"), introduced in the 111th Congress as H.R. 1409 and S. 560, would have allowed union certification based on signed authorizations, provided a process for the bargaining of an initial agreement, and prescribed new penalties for certain unfair labor practices. This report reviews the current process for selecting a bargaining representative under the NLRA, and discusses the role of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in resolving bargaining disputes under that act. The EFCA has been introduced in the past four Congresses. During the 110th Congress, the measure was passed by a vote of 241-185 in the House. In the Senate, proponents of the EFCA fell nine votes short of the 60 votes needed to limit debate and proceed to final consideration of the measure. The EFCA is widely expected to be reintroduced in the 112th Congress.