New NLRB Employee Rights Notice Must Be Posted by November 14, 2011

Volume 10, Issue 9
August 26, 2011

Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") announced the issuance of a Final Rule requiring all private sector employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), regardless of whether or not they have unionized workforces, to post an 11x17 inch notice informing employees of their rights under the NLRA ("Employee Notice"). This new notice posting requirement takes effect 75 days after the Final Rule is published in the Federal Register, which is currently scheduled to occur on August 30, 2011, making the effective date November 14, 2011. Copies of the mandatory Employee Notice will be available on or about November 1, 2011 from the NLRB's regional offices and from the NLRB's website.

Covered employers must post the Employee Notice where other workplace notices are typically posted. Also, employers who customarily post notices to employees regarding personnel rules or policies on an internet or intranet site will be required to post an exact copy of the NLRB's Employee Notice on those sites as well. Further, employers with a substantial number of employees who are not proficient in English will have to post the Employee Notice in the language(s) spoken by the employees.

The NLRB's Employee Notice is a one-sided statement of the legal protections afforded to employees who engage in union organizing activities and other protected concerted activities, including voicing complaints about terms and conditions of employment. Glaringly absent from the Employee Notice is any information as to employees' rights to decertify or withdraw from third-party union representation, to seek relief for a union's failure to represent employees fairly, or object to payment of union dues or fees for political purposes.

The new Employee Notice rule was passed by the NLRB's Democrat Members, Chairman Wilma B. Liebman, Member Mark Gaston Pearce and Member Craig Becker, over the objections of Republican Member Brian Hayes. As Member Hayes observed, millions of employers in the private sector will be subjected to this new posting requirement simply to, "reverse the steady downward trend in union density among private sector employees in the non-agricultural American workforce."

Failing or refusing to properly post the new Employee Notice will be an independent violation of the NLRA, which will likely serve as the basis for the NLRB to extend the six-month limitation period for filing unfair labor practice charges, and constitute evidence of anti-union motivation. Additional information about the new Employee Notice process is available by way of an NLRB Fact Sheet.

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