Wednesday, January 11, 2012

NLRB Delays Posting Requirement ... Again!

Effective April 30, 2012, employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act (the "NLRA") must post a Notice advising their employees of their Union rights. The Notice must be posted in a conspicuous place where other notifications of workplace rights and employer rules and policies are posted. The Notice may be downloaded here. The posting date has been postponed previously, and the April 30th date is the most recent, extended deadline imposed by the National Labor Relations Board.

The NLRA covers union and non-union employers engaged in interstate commerce, and applies to most employers in the private sector. There are some exclusions under the NLRA, such as for those employed by federal, state or local governments or who are independent contractors. If you are unsure as to whether you are covered by the NLRA, it is recommended that you contact counsel to determine whether the new Notice requirement is applicable to your situation.

Among other things, the new Notice advises employees of their right to organize, bargain collectively, strike and picket, and to not join or remain a member of a union. The Notice also lists acts that are illegal for an employer to take against an employee, including but not limited to prohibiting talk or solicitation in support of a union during non-work time, questioning an employee about union support, engaging in activities that discourage employees from supporting a union, and threatening to close the workplace if employees choose union representation.

Failure to post the Notice may result in an extension of the six-month limitations period in which an employee may file an Unfair Labor Practice Charge, and may be construed as evidence of an employer’s anti-union animus. The additional extension stems from a legal challenge to the posting requirement, and further extensions may be in the offing. However, it appears (at least to this writer) that the requirement is likely to survive the legal challenge. So, employers ... get ready!

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