The National Labor Relations Board is extending its reach by now requiring employers to notify employees of their rights under the NLRA through posting a new required notice by November 14, 2011.  The posting requirement will apply to nearly all private-sector employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act.

The notice states that employees have the right to: (1) organize a union to negotiate with their employer concernign wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment; (2) form, join or assist a union; (3) bargain collectively through representaitves of their own choosing; (4) discuss their terms and conditions of employment or union organizing with their coworkers or a union; (5) take action with one or more co-workers to improve their working conditions by, among other means, raising work-related complaints directly with their employer or seeking help from a union; (6) strike and picket, depending on the purpose or means of the strike; and (7) refrain from engaging in any of the above listed activities, and to refrain from joining or remaining a member of a union.

The Board did modify their original rule due to many of the approximately 6,500 comments made during the comment period.  Employers will not be required to distribute the notice via email, voice mail, text messaging or related electronic communications even if they customarily communicate with their employees in that manner, and they may post notices in black and white as well as in color.  Originally, the rule required color posting. 

Failure to post the notice may be treated as a ULP under the NLRA.  The Board does not have the authority to fine the employer, but may extend the 6-month statute of limitations for filing a charge involving other ULPs against the employer due to the failure to post.  The tolling of the statute of limitations does not apply to ULP charges by unions.  The Board has released a fact sheet covering common questions, but more specific questions should be directed to your Labor attorney.

Copies of the required posting may be obtained through the NLRB or your attorney.  As this rule even applies to employers who do not have a union, this is the perfect opportunity for employers to discuss their posting requirements and other traditional labor issues with their attorneys.

By: Justin A. Morocco