In August of 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a final rule requiring employers to post workplace notices of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRB’s final rule required businesses to post an 11 x 17 notice that alerts workers to their rights under Section 7 of the NLRA, including the right to organize and join a union. The rule also required businesses that use the Internet or an intranet site to post human resources-related information to post the notice on those sites as well.
Following the initiation of several lawsuits, the NLRB postponed the effective date for its posting rule until Jan. 31, 2012 (the previous deadline was Nov. 14, 2011). Among those seeking to invalidate the rule are the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Business. The lawsuits filed by these groups have since been consolidated.
On Oct. 26, 2011, the groups filed motions for summary judgment seeking a swift resolution to the controversy. In their motions, the groups argued that the NLRB’s actions run afoul of the Administrative Procedures Act, which is the law that regulates the way in which governmental agencies can propose and establish regulations, as it is without statutory authority to promulgate such a rule. The groups also argued that the rule is tantamount to “compelled speech,” which runs afoul of the First Amendment’s freedom of speech guarantee.