New NLRB posting requirement for employers proposed

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NLRB continues aggressively changing the rules

The last thing people think about during the holiday season is labor relations.  Well, most people – I am sort of a labor relations geek, but even I am surprised at the volume of news that continues to pour of the National Labor Relations Board offices in Washington D.C. as we head toward year end.

NLRB wants employers to post notice on employee right to organize

New York Times labor writer Steven Greenhouse reported on December 21st that The National Labor Relations Board said that it would require companies to post notices on their bulletin boards , and possibly use e-mail notices to inform employees of their right to unionize under federal law.

The right to organize is nothing new. Employees have had it since the passage of the Wagner Act in 1935, but employers have never been required to do a mandatory posting before.    For some, the requirement is nothing major.  For others, the symbolism is an affront.    No matter how you feel, it is another step in the process of the Obama NLRB making it easier for unions to organize at your company.

Here are some of the reactions from various sides of this discussion, including business, labor unions, and the legal community, taken from the Greenhouse story:

Chamber of Commerce Reaction to NLRB posting proposal

These actions are consistent with a general ramp-up of enforcement against employers we are seeing across the board,” said Randel K. Johnson, senior vice president for labor policy at the United States Chamber of Commerce.

“The question here is, Is the N.L.R.B. moving forward on these steps based on true evidence that current, strong remedies are ineffective or just based on some vague arbitrary notion that employers are to blame for the decline in union membership and so therefore enforcement must be increased?” Mr. Johnson said.

AFL-CIO  reaction to NLRB posting rule

Every working person in America deserves to know his or her rights,” said Richard L. Trumka, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s president. “This rule ensures that workers’ rights are effectively communicated in the workplace. It is necessary in the face of widespread misunderstanding about the law and many workers’ justified fear of exercising their rights under it.

Legal Community reaction to NLRB rule

Ronald Meisburg, a lawyer at Proskauer Rose who was the labor board’s general counsel under President George W. Bush, said the proposed posting requirement would not prove a major event.

“We have a plethora of required notices,” he said. “It’s like noise pollution. It’s like sign pollution. One more poster isn’t going to stand out.”

He said businesses would be more concerned by the board’s proposal that would require companies that normally communicate with employees by e-mail to distribute the new notice to employees by e-mail.

Stay tuned for more NLRB changes to the labor laws in the United States, and more updates here on HRH.

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