Until now, most employers who do not have unionized employees have not had to deal with the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). Times have changed, and that will no longer be the case if a rule recently adopted by the NLRB goes into effect. This rulewill require most private-sector employers – even those without unions – to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
The notice is similar to other employment-related posters that employers are required to display. Among other things, the notice informs employees that they have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions; to form, join, and assist a union; to bargain collectively with their employer; and to refrain from any of those activities. The notice is available on the NLRB’s website.
The poster must be at least 11×17 inches and must be posted in a conspicuous place, where other required employment-related posters are customarily posted. Moreover, the NLRB rule requires the notice to be posted on-line if the employer typically posts personnel rules and policies on-line. This can be done by linking to the NLRB’s electronic poster. Further, if at least 20% of the employer’s workforce is not proficient in English, the poster must also be posted in the other language(s) spoken. The NLRB will provide translations of the notice.
This rule was supposed to go into effect on November 14, 2011, but due to litigation challenging the rule, the NLRB has changed the effective date to January 31, 2012. It remains to be seen whether this litigation will further delay implementation of the rule or overturn it. Nonetheless, pending any such new developments, employers should be prepared to comply with the rule when it is currently scheduled to go into effect on January 31, 2012.
The consequences for failing to post this notice after this rule goes into effect are potentially significant, depending on the facts and circumstances of the violation.
Note that federal contractors who are already required by the Department of Labor to post a similar notice of employee rights will be regarded as complying with the NLRB’s requirements by having the Department of Labor notice posted.
We will be discussing this rule and other recent developments in employment law, at our October 27 Breakfast Roundtable. For registration and further information on this Roundtable, please visit our website.
The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact a member of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Group or the Shulman Rogers attorney with whom you regularly work.
Stay up to date with all the latest news and events.