All employers in the United States who are covered under the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) – retailers with a gross volume of business of $500,000 or more and non-retailers who transmit $50,000 or more in goods through interstate commerce – may soon face a new notice posting requirement. The proposed rule which the NLRB published in the Federal Register on December 22, 2010 would require most employers to post an 11-by-17 inch poster informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), and to distribute the same notice to employees electronically, if the employer electronically communicates with its employees.
The proposed notice describes unlawful acts prohibited of employers and labor unions. It notifies employees that they can take collective action to improve their working conditions, collectively raise complaints to their employer or the government, and seek help from unions. It also advises employees of their right to strike and picket.
The NLRB has proposed major sanctions for failure to comply with the posting requirement, including:
- treating the failure to post as an independent unfair labor practice (“ULP”) under Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA for which the NLRB may file a complaint;
- tolling the six month statute of limitations period for ULP charges if the employer fails to post the required notice and the employee did not have actual or constructive notice that the alleged conduct was unlawful; and
- using the failure to post as evidence of “unlawful motive” in ULP charges, thus making it harder for employers to defend against alleged violations of the NLRA.
The NLRB is accepting public comment on the proposed rule through February 20, 2011. The proposed rule will not become law until after the period for public comment has expired. Stay tuned for future blogs regarding the status of the proposed rule.
For more information on the proposed rule, please go to: