by Jonathan Driggs
The National Labor Relations Board is at it again! This powerful government agency has been very busy as of late pursuing their very pro-labor agenda against employers. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has regulatory authority over the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA is the main federal law that governs and protects employees’ right to unionize (in addition to providing other protections to employees).
The NLRB recently issued a Final Rule requiring most private-sector employers to display a poster in the workplace notifying employees of their rights to unionize. This new requirement is quite controversial because many employer advocates do not believe that the NLRB has the regulatory authority to make such a requirement—the National Association of Manufacturers has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block this new requirement. The new poster has also been criticized because it focuses so heavily on employees’ right to unionize versus employees’ right to not unionize (the NLRA is charged to protect employees on the latter issue as well). We will simply have to wait to see how this all plays out.
In the meantime, employers should get ready to comply with the new requirement. Here’s the scoop:
- The new poster will be available on the NLRB’s website no later than November 1, 2011. In the meantime, you will likely be inundated by mailers from companies that are in the business of selling such posters—which is all well and good. However, be aware that you can print off copies of the poster for free at the NLRB’s website listed below.
- Employers must display the poster in their workplaces by no later than November 14, 2011. If an employer typically displays its personnel rules and policies on an intranet or internet site, then this poster must be displayed there as well. Further, if 20% or more of an employer’s employees cannot read English, then the employer will be required to display a copy in the appropriate language (the NLRB will provide translations of the notice).
- Additional information about this new requirement can be found at the NLRB’s website: http://www.nlrb.gov/poster
Under the current administration, the NLRB has unfortunately taken a very aggressive posture against employers. This new poster requirement is only one of several recent examples of the NLRB exerting its influence over the highly politicized issue of union rights. I suspect that there will be more to come.
This article should not be construed as legal advice.
Jonathan K. Driggs is an employment law attorney with over 18 years of experience, including 3 years with the Utah Labor Commission. www.jdriggslaw.com