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NLRB Requires Employers to Post Notice of Right to Organize

September 20, 2011

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On August 25, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that it will require employers to post notices informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) for the first time in the act’s 76-year history. The new requirement will apply to virtually all private sector employers, regardless of whether their workforces are unionized or they are federal contractors.

Contents of the Required Notice

The required notice will inform employees that they have a federal right to:

The required notice will also inform employees that employers are prohibited from taking the following actions:

The required notice will also explain, generally, the concept of collective bargaining, such as the requirement to bargain in good faith.

The Timelines and Posting Requirements

Employers must post the required notice beginning November 14, 2011. On September 14, 2011, the NLRB published the notice employers’ must use; it is available on the NLRB website. Translated versions will be available and must be posted at workplaces where at least 20 percent of employees are not proficient in English. Employers must also post the notice on their intranet or an internet site if personnel rules and policies are customarily posted there.

Violations

Failure to post the notice may be treated as an unfair labor practice under the NLRA and may be considered evidence of unlawful motive in an unfair labor practice case involving other alleged violations of the NLRA. Furthermore, where an employee alleges other unfair labor practices, the effect of failing to post the required notice may toll the six-month statute of limitations that ordinarily applies to charges of NLRA violations.

Implications

The new posting requirements are designed to encourage employees to discuss and explore unionization. Consequently, non-unionized employers should proactively consider conducting supervisor training regarding union avoidance and undertaking a strategic analysis of the workplace to identify potential vulnerabilities in this area.

For more information, please contact:

Joseph L. Braccio
jbraccio@hodgsonruss.com

Elizabeth D. Carlson
ecarlson@hodgsonruss.com

John J. Christopher
jchristopher@hodgsonruss.com

Ryan L. Everhart
reverhart@hodgsonruss.com

David A. Farmelo
dfarmelo@hodgsonruss.com

Andrew J. Freedman
afreedman@hodgsonruss.com

Peter C. Godfrey
pgodfrey@hodgsonruss.com

John M. Godwin
jgodwin@hodgsonruss.com

Karl W. Kristoff
kkristoff@hodgsonruss.com

Emina Poricanin
eporicanin@hodgsonruss.com

Anne S. Simet
asimet@hodgsonruss.com

Jeffrey F. Swiatek
jswiatek@hodgsonruss.com