3-13-12; Post Dis!!! Please don’t shoot the messenger but you are going to have to pay for and then post new union-organizing posters in your workplace

While U.S. employers have fought and fought this invasive concept, private employers subject to the parameters of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) (which is just about every private employer in our country from hot dog stands to General Motors®) will be required at the end of April 2012 to post written notice to all employees about their rights to organize and potentially form labor unions.

On March 2, 2012, a Federal District Court judge in Washington, D.C. ruled the National Labor Relations Board or NLRB has the authority to promulgate and enforce a rule requiring most private employers to display the new poster entitled “Employee Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act.” The ruling was issued in National Association of Manufacturers v. NLRB.

The rationale behind this tactic by the NLRB centers on its belief employees are somehow tragically unaware of their rights under federal labor law and U.S. employers should be forced by our government to inform them. The Board created its own rule on the subject under its statutory authority to adopt “such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of [the NLRA].”

Fortunately for employers, the Board’s attempt to sanction employers who fail or refuse to post the required posting notice was declared unlawful by the Federal District Court. The NLRB attempted to sanction employers who failed to display the poster by way of finding failure to post the required notice to be an unfair labor practice (i.e. holding such conduct would be deemed unlawful interference with, restraint, or coercion of employees in the exercise of their rights under the law); and tolling the standard 6-month statute of limitations for filing unfair labor practice charges against employers who fail to post the notice.

The Federal District Court did not rule out the possibility of finding failure to post these new documents could be considered and used as evidence of an unfair labor practice:

[N]othing in this decision prevents the Board from finding that a failure to post constitutes an unfair labor practice in any individual case brought before it. But the ruling does mean that the Board must make a specific finding based on the facts and circumstances in the individual case before it that the failure to post interfered with the employee’s exercise of his or her rights.

Forewarned is forearmed, folks. While other legal challenges remain pending, this recent new decision is almost certain to require you to have to be ready to post these dopey posters on or before April 30, 2012. If you need the website to get the posters, send a reply.

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