National Labor Relations Board Rule Requires Union Rights Poster in Your Workplace!
All Employers Covered by the NLRA will be Affected
In an unprecedented nod to labor unions, the National Labor Relations Board recently proposed a new 11 × 17, 817 word, full-color Notice for posting (physically and electronically) in your workplace. The proposed Notice reads much like an old labor union handout to employees titled “Know Your Rights!” with specific advice to employees interested in collective action. A brief summary of key provisions is found below, including links to the actual draft rule. The Rule is NOT yet in effect.
The National Labor Relations Act covers nearly all private sector employers regardless of workforce size or business type. It is incorrectly considered irrelevant by some employers due to the type of work they perform or the skilled staff they employ. Americans also see unions as largely irrelevant since nationwide, only 7% of the private sector belongs to unions. However, our mid-Atlantic region is at a higher rate than the nation average, with 16.2% in PA, 19.9% in NJ, and 12.8% in DE. The new NLRB Rule seeks to bring the NLRA and unions back to the front and center in nearly every workplace in America. It would be the first time employers are required to encourage their own employees to take a widely-perceived counter-productive step: join a labor union.
The NLRB will take public comments on the draft rule through February 22, 2011. It will then issue a final rule, establishing the effective date of any posting requirements.
Highlights of the Proposed Rule include:
- An 11 inch by 17 inch poster in full color; electronic distribution if that method is in use.
- Language that tracks the 2010 rule requiring federal contractors to post a notice on NLRA rights.
- Specific examples of protected employee rights such as “discuss the terms of your employment with your co-workers”; “taking action with co-workers by raising complaints”; “strike and picket depending on the purpose”; “solicit for a union during non-work time”; “distribute literature during non-work time in areas such as parking lots and rest rooms”.
- New penalties for non-posting such as waiving the six-month charge filing period, and using willful non-compliance to issue additional penalties in a union campaign.
- Directions on contacting the local NLRB office.
Link to NLRB web page with relevant materials: http://www.nlrb.gov/about_us/news_room/Notice_for_Rulemaking/index.aspx
Link to Federal Register website with the official Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-12-22/pdf/2010-32019.pdf
This is evolving quickly, and you can count on MEA to keep you up-to-date as more information becomes available. In the meantime, contact us on the Hotline at 800-662-6238 if you have any questions.