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Log In / Register | Jun 21, 2018

Employers Must Post Notice of Union Rights

Workers of the World, Unite!

Disturbed by the decreasing numbers of American workers joining unions, the National Labor Relations Board issued a finding that this has resulted in workers not being sufficiently aware of their rights to unionize.

The NLRB is composed of 5 members, 3 have been appointed by President Obama in a controversial "recess" appointment procedure. Only 3 members need to be present in order to constitute a quorum sufficient for rule-making.

Effective April 30, the NLRB now requires employers:

  • To post an 11 x 17 inch government-written poster (alterations are prohibited) informing employees of their right to unionize and to strike and picket their employer, and to wear pro-union hats and buttons and distribute union organizing materials in parking lots and break rooms.
  • If at least 20% of employees speak a language other than English, the government poster must be provided in that language.
  • If employees speak multiple languages, the poster must go up in English and the second language, and the employer must also either post or give out individually posters to any group which comprises 20% of the workforce and speaks a language other than English.

The National Association of Manufacturers sued, alleging that the NLRB is engaging in an "unprecedented expansion" of its authority. The NAM also said that the government was violating the First Amendment by compelling employers to speak.

On Friday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled in favor of the NLRB. Jackson, appointed to the Court by President Obama in 2010, ruled that since the poster was written by the government and it is illegal to alter the poster, the poster constitutes "government speech" and the government may compel private citizens to disseminate "government speech" without violating the Constitution.

The NLRB has announced it will be seeking new regulations, including a demand that employers turn over the home phone numbers and email addresses of employees to union leaders who want to unionize a workplace.

Traditionally a highly-politicized arm of the federal government, the NLRB has become polarized in recent years and the environment for employers is likely to become much worse in coming years. Ironically, the NLRB itself has taken a traditional employer-centric view toward its own employees, sparking charges of hypocrisy by the NLRB's own employees.

Natl Assn of Manufacturers v NLRB OPN 02Mar2012.pdf224.16 KB
NLRB Required Notice.pdf63.55 KB
Natl Assn of Manufacturers v NLRB COMPLAINT 23Sept2011.pdf9.69 MB
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