On October 5, the National Labor Relations Board postponed the November 14, 2011 effective date of its new posting rule requiring union and non-union employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  Employers will now be required to comply with the rule beginning January 31, 2012.

In its October 5 news release, the NLRB stated that the postponement was intended to allow for “enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses.”  The NLRB cited queries from businesses and trade organizations indicating uncertainty about which businesses fall under the Board’s jurisdiction and an interest in ensuring broad voluntary compliance with the rule as additional factors in its decision to extend the date.

According to the news release, no other changes to the rule or the form or content of the required notice have been made.  Taft’s September 2011 e-bulletin outlined the rule and notice requirements.

This postponement comes just weeks after the most recent lawsuit challenging the rule was filed in the United States District Court for District of South Carolina.  Two prior federal lawsuits filed in the District of Columbia challenging the rule were recently consolidated and a hearing in that case has been scheduled for December 19, 2011.  The court will consider whether the NLRB rule exceeds the Board’s statutory jurisdiction and authority.  The two-month delay in implementing the rule will give courts additional time to render a decision on its validity prior to the new January 31, 2012 effective date.