Cox Smith E-Alert
NLRB Delays Implementation of Posting Requirement
On August 30, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board issued a final rule requiring employers to post notices informing their employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. This rule was to go into effect on November 14, 2011. However, because of the number of questions received from businesses regarding which entities were required to comply with the posting requirement, the NLRB has postponed the implementation date to January 31, 2012.
The NLRB delayed the effective date of the rule "to allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses."
Most private sector employers, including labor unions and most small businesses, will be required to post the notice. The NLRA does not apply to certain types of employees, including but not limited to agricultural laborers, independent contractors, and workers in domestic service. As dissenting Board Member Brian E. Hayes pointed out, the rule will impact as many as six million private employers.
The notice itself lists employees' general rights under the NLRA and provides examples of employer conduct which is prohibited by the NLRA. The stated goal of the rule is to increase knowledge of the NLRA among employees, but many employers' groups have observed that the notice seems biased toward union organizing. The rule permits employers to post additional communications to clarify their position on unions. Those who choose to do so should be careful not to communicate in a way that interferes with employee rights under the NLRA. Failure to post the notice may itself constitute an unfair labor practice, although compliance will likely only be determined when a charge is filed with the NLRB.
Cox Smith’s Employment section is available to consult with you regarding whether your business is covered by the National Labor Relations Act and in complying with the posting requirement when it goes into effect.