The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) new posting requirement was challenged in South Carolina and in the federal district court in Washington, D.C. The federal district court issued its final ruling a few weeks ago:
– essentially all private businesses (there are a few exceptions, based upon annual revenue) are required to post the new notice; this portion was upheld.
– some of the sanctions against employers were voided. The sanction providing that an employer’s failure to post the notice extends or “tolls” the NLRA’s six-month statute of limitations for filing an unfair labor practice charge, as well as the sanction defining any failure to post the notice as a per se unfair labor practice, were invalidated. The court’s reasoning was that these sanctions were an impermissible expansion of the NLRA’s scope.
As the employer, you need to:
– print out the Notice – available on the NLRB’s webite at http://www.nlrb.gov/poster
– post the Notice, as required, by April 30, 2012
– develop and communicate a lawful employee relations policy
– train your managers and supervisors on how to lawfully respond to inquiries from their employees, which our Dallas harassment training will go over
– review existing policies and your Employee Handbook for policies that could result in unfair labor practice charges, such as:
o harassment policies that are too broad and generic that could be “reasonably interpreted” as improperly prohibiting employees from partaking in union organizing
o blanket prohibitions against your employees speaking to the media or broad social media policies that prohibit employees from disparaging an employer on such sites
o confidentiality policies that prohibit employees from discussing their wages with co-workers or outsiders (note that the new NLRB posting expressly advises employees that they have the right to discuss their wages with co-workers and unions)
The NLRB site will also have translations of the Notice available in a number of languages. If 20% or more of your workforce is not proficient in English, then you must post the Notice in that language.