In our January 9 update we reported that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had postponed the effective date of its new employee rights notice-posting rule to April 30, 2012. The rule would require more than six million businesses to post an 11 by 17-inch notice in a prominent location explaining the rights of workers to join a union and collectively bargain regarding wages and working conditions. Several groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers, challenged the rule, claiming that the NLRB did not have the authority to adopt the notice-posting regulation.
The recent decisions of two federal courts have now blocked the implementation of the NLRB. As a result, employers have no obligation to post the notice of employee labor law rights described in the NLRB's rule at least until the appellate court's injunction has been lifted.
The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina issued the first decision preventing implementation of the rule. In Chamber of Commerce v. NLRB,* the Court held that the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") does not provide adequate support for the NLRB's rulemaking action, noting adoption of the rule contradicts the text of the NLRA and "the balance achieved" by the NLRA's "statutory framework."
Shortly after, on April 17, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a temporary injunction barring the rule from taking effect pending resolution of legal questions presented to the court on appeals from another district court judge's opinion concerning the rule.**
* Chamber of Commerce v. NLRB, No. 11-cv-2516 (D.S.C. Apr. 13, 2012).
** Nat'l Ass'n of Manufacturers v. NLRB, No. 11-cv-01629 (D.C. Cir. Apr. 17, 2012).