Judge Okays Union Information Poster

Four weeks ago, we reported that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had postponed the implementation date for new workplace posters that explain to employees their right to unionize. The NLRB’s voluntary delay allowed a federal judge to rule on the propriety of the new posters. Pro-business groups argue the posters unfairly encourage employees to form unions. Labor advocates claim the posters simply offer information of what is legally permissible without being for or against unions.

Last Friday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued a ruling in favor of the NLRB’s new requirements. According to Judge Jackson, “The notice-posting rule is a reasonable means of promoting awareness …. Nothing in the notice posting suggests that employers favor collective bargaining activities.” Unless a federal appeals court issues an emergency order delaying implementation further to allow appellate review — a prospect I consider unlikely — the new rule will take effect April 30. Employers can find a copy of the required posting on the NLRB’s website (www.nlrb.gov) by clicking “Employee Rights Poster” in the “Resources” menu on the right side of the homepage.

Judge Jackson did curtail the new rule in one significant respect. As written, an employer’s failure to post the required notice would automatically be deemed an unfair labor practice. The judge rejected that provision, stating that the NLRB must still prove in any given case that a failure to post the notice amounts to improper interference with employees’ right to unionize.

If you have questions about what your obligations may be under the new NLRB rule, feel free to contact us here at Wright Beamer.

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