The National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") announced on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, that it has extended the deadline for employers to post the required Notice of Rights ("Notice") posters from November 14, 2011 to January 31, 2012. According to the NRLB, the decision to postpone the deadline is "to allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses."
As we previously reported, the NLRB rule required employers to notify employees of their unionization rights under the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"). The Notice, that is available from the NLRB's website, was to be posted where other workplace notices were posted, and is similar to the one required by the U.S. Department of Labor for federal contractors. It advises employees of their rights under the NLRA 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 any of these activities. The Notice also provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct. Finally, it instructs employees on how to contact the NLRB with questions or complaints.
Following the issuance of the rule, several lawsuits were filed against the NLRB arguing, among other things, that the NLRB did not have the authority to require such a posting. One such suit was filed by the National Association of Manufacturers ("NAM"). The decision to delay the posting requirement was made shortly after the U.S. District Court judge in NAM v. NLRB asked the NLRB attorneys to request that the NLRB delay the November 14, 2011 effective date to give the court adequate time to consider the arguments in the case. However, according to the NLRB, the decision to extend the deadline "followed queries from businesses and trade organizations indicating uncertainty about which businesses fall under the Board's jurisdiction, and was made in the interest of ensuring broad voluntary compliance."