Appeals Court: NLRB union-rights poster violates free-speech rights

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On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled here that the National Labor Relations Board cannot require private employers — union and non-union — to hang this poster in a conspicuous location in the workplace. Billed by the Board as a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, many employer groups viewed the “mandatory” poster as more of an encouragement to unionize than as a neutral informational poster.

Previously, the lower court in DC had upheld the poster rule. Meanwhile, a South Carolina federal court had shot it down.

The appellate court determined that the poster rule would violate employers’ free speech under Section 8(c) of the National Labor Relations Act. The appellate court also ruled that the poster rule unlawfully expanded the Board’s enforcement powers.

Although this is the first appellate court to rule on this issue, another appellate court (the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals) is poised to address this issue shortly. For now, however, even the Board has indicated that you may put the posters away.

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