New Union Organizing Notice Requirement for Employers

You may need to soon find space for another poster in your employee break room, bulletin board or internal website.  By April 30th of this year, the National Labor Relations Board is set to require almost all employers to have a new poster displayed enumerating organizing rights for its employees.  We first reported on this requirement in a post  when announced in December 2010.  The measure has seen opposition since that time both with the government and from challenges in court.  Nearly every employer of a given size, which is dependent on the industry, is covered.

The current litigation is over the NLRB’s authority to enact such a requirement.  The litigation inWashingtonis a consolidation of several suits filed by business organizations such as the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Federation of Independent Business (“NFIB”) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.   The NFIB has since added additional complaints to its suit regarding President Obama’s controversial “recess appointments” to the NLRB in early January.  This litigation is politically fueled, and while many commentators believe the NLRB will prevail in enforcing this posting requirement because their grant of power is so broad, the case has passed all early stages of litigation and has reached oral arguments, indicating these business organizations may stand a chance.

The NLRB penalties for not complying with the posting requirements are harsh.  If a company were not to post this, the standard six month statute of limitations for any employee with an NLRA complaint would not apply at all, giving employees, former employees and union organizers an unlimited time to proceed. And, if the lack of notice is found to be willful, there could be further damages as the NLRB could use that as evidence of the company’s unlawful motive of an unfair labor practice.

The poster may be downloaded at http://www.nlrb.gov/poster.  To protect yourself, go to the above website, print the poster, and be prepared to place this alongside all other employee notices on April 30th.  If the litigation prevails, these requirements will likely be either changed or removed.

If you have any employment law issues, do not hesitate to contact Lynam & Associates at firm@lynamlaw.com.

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