After receiving over 7,000 comments, the National Labor Relations Board has issued its Final Rule requiring all employers that are covered by the National Labor Relations Act ("Act") to notify employees of their rights under the Act, effective November 14, 2011. This Rule, issued just days before end of NLRB Chairman Wilma Liebman's term, applies to both unionized and non-unionized employers. Federal contractors that already have to post the similar U.S. Department of Labor notice pursuant to Executive Order 13496 will be deemed to be in compliance with the NLRB's Final Rule.
The required notice provides a comprehensive list of employee rights under the Act, including the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from engaging in any of these activities. It also provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct, and instructs employees how to contact the NLRB with questions or complaints.
Beginning November 1, each NLRB regional office will be able to provide a copy of the notice free of charge, or employers can print it directly from www.nlrb.gov. The NLRB will also make available foreign language versions of the notice, which are required at workplaces where at least 20% of employees are not English-proficient.
The notice must be posted in all locations where employee notices typically are posted, including on a company's intranet or internet site if the company customarily posts personnel rules and policies on its intranet or internet.
Although the rule has no record-keeping or reporting requirements, the NLRB may treat any failure to post the notice as an independent unfair labor practice, and also use this failure to extend the six-month statute of limitations applicable to other unfair labor practice charges.
The NLRB's Final Rule can be viewed here.