Labor Relations Act Poster (NLRA Poster)
Updated: 07/03/2013. Please bookmark this page to periodically
check for updates.
NLRB Update: Two Separate Courts of Appeal Reject NLRB Poster Rule
For the second time in as many months, an appeals court has struck down the National Labor Relations Board poster ruling. On June 14, 2013, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the NLRB had no power to mandate such a requirement, noting there was nothing in the National Labor Relations Act that granted the agency this authority. In addition, the ruling observes that congress—while giving other agencies explicit powers—had never permitted the NLRB to require notices.
In the three-judge ruling, the 4th Circuit decision found the NLRB's actions "unusual." The Court noted that the NLRB has "only rarely engaged in rulemaking during its seventy-seven year history," and had "never promulgated a notice-posting rule of any kind."
The panel also differentiated between proactive and reactive rulemaking, saying that the NLRB only has authority to respond to complaints and problems raised through unfair labor practices or occurring during representation elections. Proactively rulemaking to notify employees of their rights was not a law or duty the NLRB was tasked with enforcing, said the panel.
Just weeks prior to the 4th Circuit ruling, in a separate case, the D.C. Circuit also struck down the proposed NLRB requirement, saying that the poster violated free speech rights. That appeals court held that the poster rule is unenforceable.
The NLRB has not yet indicated how it will proceed—if at all—but many labor experts have concluded that this is likely the final outcome, meaning employers do not need to display the poster. It is highly unlikely companies will need to take any further action with regard to the poster in the future.
Updated October 16, 2012.
NLRB Poster Update: While the Appeal Proceeds, the NLRB Finds Other Ways to Continue the Requirement
As we informed you earlier this year, a DC appellate court issued an emergency injunction in April to temporarily delay the NLRB's proposed requirement for employers to post a notice about employee's rights until the court has the opportunity to decide whether the NLRB has sufficient authority to mandate such a requirement. If the injunction had not been issued, employers would have been required to post the notice by April 30, 2012.
Previously, another District Court—this time in South Carolina—ruled that without a congressional mandate, the Board lacked authority to enforce the requirement. While the NLRB did not set a new proposed deadline for employers to post the notice, it remained committed to the poster concept despite the multiple challenges to the Board's ability to move forward. Chairman of the Board, Mark Gaston Pierce, stated "We continue to believe that requiring employers to post this notice is well within the Board's authority, and that it provides a genuine service to employees who may not otherwise know their rights under our law."
It's finally fall, and the D.C. appeal is underway. In September 2012, oral argument was heard in front of the federal three-judge panel, and a decision on the issue is expected in November or December of this year. The National Labor Relations Board has requested the Court reverse the lower court's decision to strike down significant parts of its prior ruling, whereas employer groups are asking the Court to follow the rationale of the South Carolina decision that the poster rule is entirely invalid.
Interestingly, though, the NLRB hasn't just accepted that the poster should wait on the sidelines while we wait for a decision. In fact, the Board has actively pushed the use of the poster—albeit not for all employers, but in areas the board can control.
One notable example is the case of General Die Casters, Inc—a case focused on Weingarten Rights when a meeting turns into an unanticipated discussion about the employee's behavior—where the NLRB required the employer to post a version of the notice as a penalty.
Watch this space for the outcome of the appeal, expected in later November or early December.
Opening Brief Filed in NLRB Poster Rule Appeal
On May 22, 2012, the National Association of Manufacturers filed
its opening brief with the D.C. Court of Appeal. As we mentioned
in a previous update, the DC appellate court issued an emergency
injunction to temporarily delay the requirement for employers
to post a notice about employee's rights. If the injunction had
not been issued, employers would have been required to post the
notice by April 30, 2012.
In the opening position statement, NAM asserts that the National
Labor Relations Board has overstepped its "limited jurisdiction
under the NLRA" by requiring employers to post the notice. The
brief states, "specifically, the challenged Rule for the first
time requires all six million employers covered by the Act to
post a Notice of Employee Rights on their private property, regardless
of whether such employers have committed any violation of the
NLRA and regardless of whether such employers are the subjects
of representation petitions before the Board."
NAM argues that the agency not only lacks authority to implement
this rule, but that the poster itself is a violation of the constitution
and the NLRA: "Millions of private employers are being compelled
to post a notice on their private property in order to communicate
a governmentally mandated message. Such a requirement is prohibited
by the First Amendment and by Section 8(c) [of the NLRA]." The
brief asserts that the poster is not a "neutral communication"
mentioned in the act, but "instead omits important statements
of employee rights that are not "pro-union" in character." NAM
requests the appellate court to issue a permanent injunction against
the implementation of the rule. The full text of the brief can
be found here.
Oral argument has not yet been set, but is expected to occur
in early Fall of 2012. In the interim, employers are not
mandated to post the notice. We will bring you more updates as
they occur. If you currently have it posted, it is not a
violation or misinformation to post the notice.
Note: The recent ruling on the poster only affects general businesses.
Federal Contractors and subcontractors are still required by law
to post the DOL's version of the NLRA notice.
Last Updated April 17, 2012.
NLRA Notice Struck Down In U.S. District Court
The U.S. District Court of South Carolina ruled that the National
Labor Relations Board (NLRB) exceeded its congressional authority
when it issued a rule that required employers to post notices
that detail workers' rights to unionize, and penalized non-complaint
The ruling was to require all employers to post the 11" x 17"
notice by April 30th, 2012 but has been postponed with no future
enforcement date as of now.
We will keep you updated on its progress.
Last Updated March 2, 2012.
Federal District court has ruled that the NLRB's poster
will be in effect.
As we wrote about before, in December 2010 the National Labor
Relations Board issued a requirement that all employers covered
by the National Labor Relations Act would be required to display
a new poster, titled "Employee Rights Under the National Labor
Relations Act." Although the posting requirement was originally
scheduled for late 2011, organizations—including the National
Federation of Independent Businesses, or NFIB, and the National
Association of Manufacturers, or NAM—challenged the requirement
in court. The legal action delayed the effective date more than
On March 2, 2012, the D.C. federal court released its ruling.
The outcome was partially in favor of the NLRB, ruling in favor
of the posting requirement itself, but simultaneously overturned
some of the enforcement provisions of the NLRB's rule. The court
- The notice requirement is legal. The court determined that
the NLRB can require employers to post the notice and that this
is not an abuse of discretion, nor a violation of free speech.
- Simply failing to post the notice is not an automatic unfair
practice. Just because the court decided failing to post the notice—by
itself—is not an unfair practice, doesn't mean employers can disregard
the obligation. In the March decision, the court stated that the
NLRB would have to consider the specific facts and circumstances
of each case. If it found that failing to post the notice interfered
with employees' rights, then such failure might provide evidence
of an unfair practice.
What should employers do?
Because of the court decision, the next step for employers is
to post the notice by the April 30, 2012 deadline. But we haven't
heard the end of this case yet. Only three days after the initial
ruling, an appeal was filed to challenge the decision. Although
the appeal also requested that the requirement to post be delayed,
the district court ruled that the obligation remains in effect
until the appellate court's decision, or unless the appellate
court decides a stay is warranted.
The products below will have the NLRA Notice update you'll need
for compliance postings:
the Complete Labor Law Poster
Includes mandatory State, Federal, OSHA, and new mandatory NLRA
poster. Your Complete Labor Law Poster will ship out to your location
as soon as it becomes available.
NOW at $29.95.