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Public Comment Deadline For Proposed NLRA Employee Rights Notice Set For February 22, 2011

Volume 10, Issue 1
January 27, 2011

As previously discussed in KZA's December 30, 2010 Employer Report, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") has started the formal process of creating a new rule that would require covered private-sector employers to post workplace notices informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"). The majority of the United States' nearly 6 million businesses with employees will be affected by the rule. According to the NLRB, the notice is needed because the majority of private-sector employees are not represented by unions and, therefore, they lack an important source of information about their rights under the NLRA.

The proposed notice will be similar to the employee rights notice that federal contractors are currently required to post. However, glaringly absent from either notice is any information as to employees' rights to decertify or withdraw from third-party union representation, to seek relief for a union's failure to represent employees fairly, or object to payment of union dues or fees for political purposes.

If approved the NLRB's new rule would require employers that have a substantial number of employees who are not proficient in English to post the workplace notices in the language(s) spoken by the employees. Further, employers that customarily communicate with their employees electronically would be required to also distribute the notices by e-mail or by posting the notices on their intranet sites. The failure to post such workplace notices would constitute an unfair labor practice ("ULP") and result in the extension of the six (6) month statute of limitations for employees to bring ULP Charges against their employers.

NLRB Member Brian Hayes has objected to the proposed rule stating that the NLRB lacks the legal authority to issue such a rule as the NLRA only gives the NLRB the authority to order affirmative notice-posting action in the absence of an unfair labor practice charge filed by an outside party." The NLRB's website has a web page with links to the Proposed Rule and the related Federal Register Notice, as well as a Fact Sheet. Public comments on the proposed rule can be submitted until February 22, 2011, either electronically through www.regulations.gov (Docket ID: NLRB-2010-0011) or by mail to: Lester A. Heltzer, Executive Secretary, National Labor Relations Board, 1099 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20570.

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.