The National Labor Relations Board recently announced that employers will not be required to comply with its new employee rights notice-posting rule until January 31, 2012, roughly two months after its original posting deadline. The NLRB first proposed a notice-posting rule in December 2010. The proposed rule became final on August 30, 2011, and it originally required employers to post the new notice on or before November 14, 2011. The rule will require most private employers to post a notice to employees explaining their rights under the National Labor Relations Act to engage in concerted protected activity concerning wages and working conditions; to form, assist in the formation of, or join a union; to collectively bargain with their employers; or, to refrain from any of these activities.
Although the NLRB has stated that it extended the notice-posting deadline to facilitate outreach and education for small businesses, many believe the Board is reacting to two recent lawsuits filed against the agency in Washington D.C. and South Carolina, both of which seek to prevent the NLRB from implementing the rule. Some Beltway insiders have indicated that the NLRB was genuinely surprised both by the backlash to this rule from the business community and two lawsuits challenging the rule and the NLRB's authority to adopt it. In light of the political climate and the many aggressive positions the NLRB has taken recently, the new employee rights notice-posting rule could very well become a political hot potato in the coming weeks.