According to this article in today’s New York Times, Senate Democrats have dropped the controversial card check provisions from the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). 

The card-check provision would have allowed unions to organize employees and begin representing them as soon as a majority of employees signed cards saying they wanted a union. Under current law, unions generally form following secret-ballot elections. 

Even though the Democrats hold a 60-40 majority in the Senate, several moderate Democrats opposed the card check provision as depriving workers of the right to vote.  By abandoning the card check, Democrats have all but assured the passage of some modified form of EFCA this term. 

So if card check is out, what will the bill look like?  A revised EFCA will replace the card check with faster election periods, giving employers less time to actively campaign against unionization efforts.  Even with an apparently watered-down version of EFCA on the way, employers should be prepared to face a radically different set of federal labor laws as soon as January 1, 2010.  The Stoel Rives World of Employment will continue to keep an eye on EFCA and bring you updates as they occur.