At the request of the federal court in Washington, D.C., the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") has agreed to postpone the effective date of its employee rights notice-posting rule. The new implementation date is April 30, 2012.
The contested NLRB rule requires most private sector employers to post notices advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"). Specifically, the notice advises employees of their rights to, among other things:
• "Organize a union to negotiate with your employer concerning your wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment;
• Form, join, or assist a union;
- Discuss your wages and benefits and other terms and conditions of employment or union organizing with your co-workers or a union; and
- Strike and picket, depending on the purpose or means of the strike or the picketing."
The rule requires employers to post the 11-by-17-inch notices in a conspicuous place, where other notifications of workplace rights and employer rules and policies are posted. Employers who typically post personnel rules and policies on an internet or intranet site should post the notice of NLRA rights there, in addition to a physical posting. Also, if at least 20 percent of the workforce speaks a language other than English, employers must post the notice in English and in the other language spoken by employees. Digital copies of the notice are currently available for download at no cost from the NLRB website.
The Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace filed a legal challenge against the NRLB in federal district court on December 20, 2011. The Chamber asserts that the employee rights notice-posting rule exceeds the NLRB's statutory authority and is contrary to the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. In the short run, the legal challenge postpones enforcement of the rule for three months (from January 31 to April 30, 2012). The ultimate outcome of the lawsuit, and enforceability of the rule, remains to be seen. Keep an eye out for future e-mail updates as the case progresses.
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