The NLRB announced today it has issued a Final Rule requiring employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). A Fact Sheet  is also available. The rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on August 30, 2011. It is effective November 14, 2011.

As we reported on December 23, 2010, the NLRB had issued a proposed rule regarding the notice on December 22, 2010. The NLRB received more than 7,000 comments in the six-month comment period that followed. The NLRB appears to have made minor adjustments based on comments received, but the Final Rule is substantially as proposed.

The Final Rule requires private-sector employers who are covered by the NLRA (which is most companies) to post the designated 11x17 employee rights notice wherever other workplace notices are typically posted. If employers regularly post rules or policies on an intranet or internet site, the Board’s notice must also be posted there. Translated versions must be posted where at least 20% of the workforce is not proficient in English. 

The notice tells employees of their unionizing rights, gives examples of unlawful employer and union conduct, and tells employees how to contact the NLRB with questions and complaints. The NLRB describes the notice as “similar” to the notice required for federal contractors by the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”). The NLRB will deem a contractor in compliance with this requirement if it posts the DOL’s notice.

Failure to post the notice may be treated as an unfair labor practice (“ULP”).

What This Means For Employers

Unless a company already posts the DOL’s comparable notice, employers should obtain a copy of the notice from the NLRB (via its website or a Regional Office), once it is published around August 30, 2011. The notice should be posted, both physically and electronically, in all places that other employee notices are posted. Companies should ensure they are in compliance with this requirement by no later than November 14, 2011.