On August 25, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a final regulation that, starting November 14, 2011, virtually all private sector Employers must post a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). The posting requirement applies to unionized and non-unionized Employers alike.
The notice will need to be at least 11"x17" and in a font size and style prepared by the NLRB. The notice must be posted in "conspicuous places where they are readily seen by employees, including all places where notices to employees concerning personnel rules or policies are customarily posted." Employers who customarily communicate with employees about policies and procedures via the Internet or an intranet site, must “prominently” display the notice on that site. Copies of the notice may be obtained from the NLRB.
Content of Notice
The notice includes information about the NLRA, the NLRB and the rights of employees to:
- Organize a union
- Form, join or assist a union
- Bargain collectively
- Discuss wages, benefits and other terms and condition of employment
- Raise complaints
- Strike or picket
- Choose not to do any of these activities
The notice sets out specific examples of actions that are unlawful under the NLRA and how employees may file a charge with the NLRB. A copy of the text of the notice is attached.
Translation for Non-English Speaking Employees
If 20 percent or more of the employees at a work site speak a language other than English, the notice must be posted in the language spoken by those employees.
Penalties for Failure to Comply
An Employer who fails to post the notice will be considered to have engaged in an unfair labor practice. The NLRB may order the employer to post the notice among other remedies. Potentially this could include e-mailing, mailing or reading the notice to employees. Failure to post the notice could result in tolling of the NLRA’s six month limitations period for filing unfair labor practice charges. The failure to post could be used by the NLRB as evidence of unlawful anti-union motive in situations where motive is relevant.
Employers may be tempted to simply view the posting requirement as similar to those existing under other Federal and State laws (e.g. discrimination, wage and hour, workers’ compensation, etc.). But this is just the opening salvo of a concerted effort by the Federal Government to make it easier for unions to organize. Also in the pipeline is a NLRB proposed regulation designed to dramatically shorten the time period between filing of a petition and an election. And the Department of Labor has a - 2 - proposed regulation that will make it more difficult for counsel to advise Employers regarding union activity. The time to begin assessing your vulnerability to union organizing (and how you might respond) is now.
A copy of the text of the notice is avalaible here.