On August 30, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a new rule requiring the vast majority of private sector employers to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), including the right to organize and bargain collectively over wages, hours, and conditions of employment. The poster will also inform employees how to file NLRB charges. The NLRB believes that the new notice will improve employees’ understanding of their rights and protection under the NLRA.

In light of the new NLRB rule, employers should be aware of the following:

  • Application of the Rule. The new rule applies to all private sector employees (including labor unions) subject to the NLRA. The NLRA covers most private sector employees except certain employers with small gross annual volumes of business. 
  • Effective Date for Compliance. The new rule takes effect on November 14, 2011. After November 1, 2011, the notice of rights poster will be available at the NLRB website (www.nlrb.gov) and the NLRB regional offices. 
  • Posting Requirements. An employer must post the notice of rights where it posts other employee notices. If an employer typically posts employee notices or personnel rules electronically (such as on an intranet), the employer must also post the NLRB notice of rights electronically. An employer is not required to email the new notice to its employees, however. 
  • Posting for Employees Not Proficient in English. In addition to posting the notice of rights in English, employers also must post a translated notice if at least 20% of its employees are not proficient in English and collectively speak another language. The NLRB will provide translated versions of the notice. 
  • No Record Keeping/Reporting Requirements. The new NLRB rule does not impose any record keeping or reporting requirements on employers. 
  • Impact of Failure to Post the Notice of Rights. The NLRB will consider failure to post the notice to be an unfair labor practice under the NLRA. However, the NLRB has stated that it expects that many employers who do not post the notice will simply be unaware of the new rule and will comply when requested to do so by an NLRB agent. The NLRB expects to close such unfair labor practice cases without further action.