July 28, 2014

Court rules to overturn NLRB union poster rule

U.S. Capitol Building; Capitol Building; Washington D.C.The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and their ruling that workplaces must display posters about union organizing, bargaining and protests.

The law would have insisted that more than six million private employers post a “notification of employee rights.” The one-page poster was to include basic rights protected by Federal Labor Law, including the right to join a union and go on strike. Failure to comply with the rule would have resulted in charges being brought against the employer in an unfair labor practice case.

The three-judge-panel stated that the rule was a violation of employers’ rights to freedom of speech, as the poster did not include any opposing information such as how to decertify a union or avoid paying dues.

The rule was scheduled to go into effect last year but was put on hold due to legal challenges posed by the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Right to Work Legal Defense, National Federation of Independent Business, Education Foundation and other business lobbyists. They challenged that the poster requirement was to promote unionization of the work force.

Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote, The National Labor Relations Act “simply does not authorize the board to impose on an employer a freestanding obligation to educate its employees on the fine points of labor relations law.” Unions and the NLRB itself are free to display posters and do so, Henderson noted.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka came out against the ruling stating, the “D.C. Circuit has once again undermined workers’ rights – this time by striking down a common-sense rule requiring employers to inform workers of their rights under federal labor law. In today’s workplace, employers are required to display posters explaining wage and hour rights, health and safety and discrimination laws, even emergency escape routes. The D.C. Circuit ruling suggests that courts should strike down hundreds of notice requirements…”