On October 5, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board announced that it is postponing the implementation date for its new notice-posting rule by more than two months. Employers will now have until January 31, 2012, to comply with the NLRB’s rule, which mandates that employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), including most private employers, post a notice informing employees of their rights under the NLRA. This rule was originally scheduled to take effect on November 14, 2011.

According to a news release announcing the postponement, the NLRB cited as reasons for the postponement the need for more time “to allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium-sized businesses,” and to “ensur[e] broad voluntary compliance.” According to the NLRB, no other changes in the rule, or in the form or content of the notice, will be made.

The postponement follows pushback from businesses and trade organizations after the final rule was published on August 30, 2011. In addition, the postponement comes on the heels of three separate lawsuits filed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in federal courts, seeking to permanently enjoin the implementation and enforcement of the rule on grounds that the rule is “in excess of the Board’s statutory jurisdiction, authority, limitations and rights.” In the suit filed by NAM, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has scheduled a hearing on motions for summary judgment for December 19, 2011, with a decision on the motions expected to be made before the rule’s new effective date. The NLRB’s news release made no reference to these suits.

For more information on the NLRB’s notice posting requirement, see Calfee’s First Alert issued on August 30, 2011: NLRB Issues New Rule Mandating Posting of NLRA Rights.