Federal court upholds NLRB posting requirements but limits enforcement provisions
On March 2, 2012, a federal court in Washington, D.C. turned back a challenge to the NLRB’s August 2011 Final Rule that requires employers to post in a conspicuous place (for example, where employers post other required workplace notices) a notice advising employees of their rights to organize a union, bargain collectively with their employer, “take action with one or more co-workers to improve your working conditions,” and strike and picket. The NLRB’s rationale for issuing the Final Rule was its view that “too many employees are unaware of their rights, based on the ‘comparatively small percentage’ of unionized private-sector employees.”
The court ruled that the NLRB posting requirement was legal, although it invalidated certain provisions that would have made it easier for the NLRB to bring charges against employers who failed to comply with the requirement.
The effect of the ruling is this: Virtually all private-sector employers (excluding certain agricultural, railroad and airline employers) must post the notice no later than April 30, 2012. The notice takes the form of an eleven-by-seventeen-inch poster that employers can download from the NLRB website and print, or obtain in hard-copy from any of the Board’s regional, subregional, or resident offices. Failure to post the notice could lead to unfair labor practice charges or other as yet undetermined enforcement proceedings.