You’ve Got Rights: NLRB’s Proposed Notice to Employees

Employers should be aware that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has proposed a new regulation that would require employers to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRB has provided a fact sheet that answers some basic questions about the proposed regulation. Under the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which was issued on December 22, 2010, employers would be required to post a notice that included information on employees’ rights under the NLRA, and conduct by employers and unions that is illegal under the NLRA.

Employers would be required to post the notice everywhere that they normally post such information, such as EEOC and OSHA notices of employee rights. If an employer normally notifies is employees via a company intranet, Internet, or email, it would be required to use the same methods to disseminate the NLRB notice.

The notice would also have to be posted in the languages an employer’s employees speak. There is no guidance on how this requirement will be applied, but if a substantial number of an employer’s employees speak a particular language, it would likely be required to post in that language.

If an employer fails to post the notice, it may be subject to several penalties, including a cease and desist notice, a tolling of the statute of limitations for any unfair labor practice charges, or a presumption that the employer’s failure to post is evidence of anti-union animus.

The posting proposed by the NLRB is modeled on a notice already required by the Department of Labor for all federal contractors.

So, what can employers do to impact the contents of the proposed regulation? Well, the comment period on the proposed rule does not expire until February 20, 2011. Until that time, anyone is free to submit comments to the NLRB in support of, or in opposition to, the new regulation. In addition, employers can contact their congresspersons. Particular attention should be paid to the members of the House Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Labor, which oversees funding to the NLRB.

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