• National Labor Relations Board Issues Rule That Will Require Employers to Post A Notice of Employee Rights
  • September 14, 2011
  • Law Firm: Frantz Ward LLP - Cleveland Office
  • The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a proposed rule in late December 2010 to require all employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the Act. On August 25, 2011, after considering public comments on the proposed rule, the NLRB issued the final rule. Under the final rule, all employers subject to the Act (except the U.S. Postal Service and very small employers doing less than $50,000 of business across state lines) are required to post such a notice by November 14, 2011.

    The NLRB will develop an 11-by-17 inch poster that will satisfy the notice requirements. As under the proposed rule, the notice required by the final rule describes the rights employees have under the Act, including the right to “form, join or assist a union” and the right to “discuss your wages and benefits and other terms and conditions of employment or union organizing with your co-workers or a union,” among others. However, in response to the comments on the proposed rule, the NLRB altered the notice to also refer to employees’ rights to “choose not to do any of these activities, including joining or remaining a member of the union.” The notice will also describe both employer and union unfair labor practices and how employees may contact the NLRB and file unfair labor practice charges.

    Employers must physically post the notice “in conspicuous places, including all places where notices to employees are customarily posted.” Additionally, employers must post the notice on an internet or intranet website if their personnel rules and policies are customarily posted there. The NLRB removed a provision requiring employers to disseminate the notice through e-mail, voice mail, text messaging, or other electronic means. The final rule also clarified that employers must post the notice in another language in addition to English if at least 20% of their employees are not proficient in English and speak another language.

    There are three potential sanctions for failing to post the notice. Failure to post the notice may be treated as an unfair labor practice under the Act. Such failure may also cause the NLRB to extend the 6-month statute of limitations for filing an unfair labor practice charge involving other allegations against the employer. Finally, intentional failure to post the notice could be considered as evidence of unlawful motive in a case involving other alleged unfair labor practices.