On August 25, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a rule requiring all private sector employers to post workplace notices informing employees of their unionization rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The rule mandates that private sector employers inform their employees that they have the right to form or join a union, to bargain collectively with their employer for improved wages and working conditions, and, alternatively, to refrain from participating in union activities. Employers must also instruct their employees on how to contact the NLRB for further information or to register a complaint under the National Labor Relations Act. A notice to this effect must be posted in an accessible location in the workplace by November 14, 2011.
The NLRB received thousands of comments on the proposed rule, the majority of which opposed it. In response, the NLRB removed a portion of the rule which would have required employers to distribute the workplace notice through e-mail or other electronic means if they customarily communicate with their employees in that manner.
It is anticipated that there will be court challenges to the rule, specifically, challenges to the authority of the NLRB to promulgate such a rule as well as free speech challenges. However, barring some injunctive relief prior to November 14, 2011, the notices must be posted in an accessible location in the workplace, typically where other mandatory notices are posted.