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NLRB Releases Employee Rights Notice As Employer Association Sues

Volume 10, Issue 10
September 16, 2011

On September 14, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") posted a downloadable version of its newly required employee rights notice that advises employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. As of November 14, 2011, most private sector employers must post the 11-by-17-inch notice in a conspicuous place where other notifications of workplace rights and employer rules and policies are posted. Copies of the employee rights notice are also available from any of the NLRB's regional offices. In addition to posting the new notice, employers must also publish the notice on their internal or external website if they post other personnel policies or workplace notices online.

For covered employers with workplaces in which twenty-percent (20%) of the employees are not proficient in English and speak another language, a translated version of the new employee rights notice is also required. The NLRB will provide translations of the new notice in the appropriate languages and, if a particular translation is not available, the NLRB will not hold the employer liable for non-compliance. Employers that have workplaces consisting of two or more groups of employees who are not proficient in English and speak another language, with each group constituting at least twenty-percent (20%) of their workforce, must post the new notice in the language spoken by the larger group, as well as post the new employee notice in the language(s) spoken by the other group(s) or distribute copies of the notice to the other group(s) of employees in their language(s). Additionally, employers that publish personnel policies or workplace notices on their internal or external websites must also post the translated employee notice(s) online as well.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Manufacturers ("NAM") has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the NLRB's new notice posting requirement contending that the promulgation of the 194 page rule is in excess of the NLRB's statutory authority. The case is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. According to NAM President Jay Timmons, "The growing list of burdensome actions from the NLRB is causing great uncertainty among manufacturers at a time when our economy is struggling to recover. We are committed to fighting this rule in order to rein in the NLRB. We also are encouraging Congress to act soon to stop this rogue agency."

Absent any successful legal action, failing or refusing to properly post the new employee notice is an independent violation of the NLRA that can serve as the basis for the NLRB to extend the six-month limitation period for filing unfair labor practice charges and constitutes evidence of anti-union motivation.

Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.