The controversial National Labor Relations Board rule requiring businesses to post notices informing workers of their right to unionize has been deferred until Jan 31, 2012. According to NLRB staff, the delay will allow for “enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium-sized businesses,”
The rule applies to all private-sector employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act. All covered employers must post the notice regardless of whether their employees are currently represented by a union.
The new rule generally requires all employers to post the notice “in conspicuous places, including all places where notices to employees are customarily posted.” Therefore, both staffing firms and staffing clients will have to post the notice. The notice also must be distributed electronically, but only if the employer customarily communicates with its employees electronically.
Employers will have two options for notifying employees electronically. They can either download the notice and post it (e.g., on an intranet or Internet site), or provide a link to the NLRB Web site, where the full text of the notice will be published. The link must include the words “Employee Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act.”
Beginning Nov. 1, each NLRB regional office will provide employers with a copy of the notice free of charge. Employers also can print it directly from nlrb.gov. NLRB will make available foreign language versions of the notice, which are required at workplaces where at least 20% of employees are not proficient in English.
Failure to post the notice can be considered an unfair labor practice. Also, NLRB may extend the six-month statute of limitations for filing a charge involving other unfair labor practice allegations against the employer. If an employer knowingly and willfully fails to post the notice, the failure may be considered evidence of unlawful motive in an unfair labor practice case involving other alleged violations of the NLRA.
Anne Duffy, American Staffing Association, and Melanie Trottman,
Wall Street Journal
contributed to this article.