American businesses fight back against union-rights notice rule

Readers of this blog know from this post that the National Labor Relations Board is forcing most private-sector employers to post this notice to inform employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, which includes the right to form a union.


Now, some employer-groups are fighting back. Find out how and, more importantly, whether your business may get a reprieve from the posting requirement, after the jump.

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Businesses claim that the Board has exceeded its authority; sue to block the posting rule.

As Seth Borden at Labor Relations Today reported here last week, the National Association of Manufacturers filed suit seeking to enjoin the posting requirement, alleging that it is “in excess of the Board’s statutory jurisdiction, authority, limitations and rights.” You can find a copy of the complaint here.

Some other business heavyweights have joined the fight against the NLRB’s posting rule. In this press release, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce announced that they had filed a lawsuit challenging the Board’s new rule. The Chamber’s lawsuit alleges that “the misguided NLRB rule violates federal labor and regulatory laws as well as the First Amendment.”

Additionally, the National Right to Work Foundation filed this lawsuit last week to block the posting requirement, arguing that the Board has “exceeded its authority granted by Congress and violated free speech guarantees of the First Amendment.” The Foundation further posits that this “one-sided rule is nothing more than yet another attempt by the Obama NLRB to force more workers into union ranks and stifle the rights of employees who want nothing to do with a union.”

What does all of this mean for your business?

As of this moment, private-sector employers within the Board’s jurisdiction are still required to display the poster by November 14, 2011. Employers who customarily post personnel rules or policies on an internet or intranet site must also provide a link to the rights poster from those sites. Although each of the three pending lawsuits seeks injunctive relief in the form of an order barring enforcement of the NLRB posting rule, the courts have yet to rule. Therefore, at present, the posting requirement will go into effect on November 14.

However, stay tuned to this space. If any court strikes the posting rule, you will read about it here.

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