As of April 30, 2012, all private sector employers that are covered by the National Labor Relations Act,

[1] regardless of whether they are unionized, will be required to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. (The original effective date was postponed.)

The notice should be posted in a conspicuous place, where other notifications of workplace rights and employer rules and policies are posted. Employers also should publish a link to the notice on an internal or external website if other personnel policies or workplace notices are posted there.

The poster requirement was delayed while a federal trial court in the District of Columbia considered the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB’s”) right to require employers to post the notice.  In March, the Court upheld the Board’s right to issue the rule, but struck the enforcement provisions.  This meant that the NLRB was permitted to require employers to post the notice.  However, the Court held that the NLRB exceeded its authority by including a provision in its rule that an employer’s failure to post the notice would automatically be considered an actionable unfair labor practice. The Court’s ruling is currently on appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  However, the lower court refused to stay the implementation of the notice requirement during the pending appeal.  Therefore, that requirement remains in effect.

Action Employers Should Take Now

Barring any intervening action by the Court of Appeals, employers must post the

11-by-17-inch notice by April 30, 2012.  Copies of the required notices can be found at these links:

Two pages:

http://www.nlrb.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1562/employeerightsposter-8-5×11.pdf

One page:

http://www.nlrb.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1562/employee_rights_fnl.pdf

Going Forward

Although the penalty provisions of the NLRB rule were invalidated by the trial court, unions may argue that an employer’s failure to post the notice is evidence of bias against unions.

Therefore, we are advising all covered employers to post the required notice.  Prior to doing so, employers should consider educating supervisors and managers about why the company is posting this notice, what it means, how it affects the company’s culture and views about its employees and unions, and how to respond to questions from employees regarding the notice.