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New Rule Will Require Employers to Post Notice of Employees’ Rights Under Federal Labor Law

 

The National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) recently announced a final rule (“Rule”) that will require most private employers to post a notice (“Notice”) that informs employees of their rights under federal labor law.  This posting requirement will become effective on November 14, 2011, and will apply to all private employers who otherwise fall within the Board’s jurisdiction, i.e., most businesses outside the aviation and railway industries who meet certain revenue thresholds. 

The Notice will inform employees about certain rights that are protected by federal labor law including:

 

  • the rights to form, join, and assist a union;
  • to strike and picket;
  • to act with other employees to improve employment conditions; and
  • to bargain collectively. 

The Notice also will list certain employer actions that are unlawful, including:

 

  • prohibiting an employee from soliciting for a union during non-work time;
  • questioning an employee in a potentially coercive manner about whether or not he or she supports a union;
  • taking adverse employment action against an employee for joining or supporting a union; and
  • prohibiting an employee from wearing union insignia, except in certain circumstances. 

The Notice will instruct employees to contact the Board if they believe their rights have been violated.  The Notice will list the Board’s contact information.

Pursuant to the Rule, employers must post the Notice in the same place where other workplace notices are posted and, if the employer typically posts employment policies or notices electronically, the employer must post the Notice electronically as well.  In certain situations employers must post the Notice in foreign languages.

The Board has authorized significant sanctions for employers who fail to post the Notice.  Perhaps most significantly, the Board may toll the six-month limitations period that ordinarily applies to unfair labor practice charges.  The Board also will consider a failure to post to be a violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), and may consider it as evidence of an employer’s unlawful motive in other cases.

Copies of the Notice will be available on the Board’s website or from the Board’s Regional Offices no later than November 1, 2011.

Absent overturning by the federal courts, employers covered by the NLRA should ensure that they post this Notice prior to November 14, 2011, in order to avoid these penalties.  Although this new Rule requires covered employers to post the Notice, it does not prohibit them from taking other lawful actions to combat unionization and protect their right to run their businesses.

If you have any questions about this new Rule or your rights under federal labor law, please contact a member of Greenebaum Doll & McDonald’s Labor and Employment Practice Group

 

To learn more about Philip C. Eschels and his practice, visit his profile.


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About Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC
Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC is a widely-respected business law firm with approximately 150 professionals in five offices, serving local, national and international clients in virtually every industry. For more information, visit www.greenebaum.com.

Copyright 2011 Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC.  All Rights Reserved.

  • Partner

    Phil is a partner and former co-chair of the Labor and Employment Department. He represents employers in defending against employment-related claims in both federal and state courts. He represents clients involving covenants not ...

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