Employee Rights Notice

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a Final Rule that will require employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) by posting a notice.  Employers must post this employee rights notice beginning November 14, 2011.  Posting the notice will inform workers of their rights in the workplace.  President Obama’s Executive Order 13496, issued on January 30, 2009, stressed the need for employees to be informed of their NLRA rights and supported the NRLB’s decision to provide this information.  It may come as a surprise, or perhaps not, to learn that until the application of this Final Rule, except in very limited circumstances, no one has been required to inform employees of their NLRA rights!

The notice states that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from any of these activities. It provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct and instructs employees how to contact the NLRB with questions or complaints.  Copies of the notice may be downloaded from the NLRB website.

Private-sector employers (including labor organizations) whose workplaces fall under the NLRA will be required to post the notice where other workplace notices are typically posted.  This means that employers who usually post notices regarding employer rules or policies via the internet or an intranet site will be required to post the NLRB notice on those sites as well.

The NLRA applies to union and non-union employees, so the notice requirement will affect all employers, with only limited exceptions.  If at least 20% of employees are not proficient in English and speak another language, the notice must be posted in that other language in addition to the English posting.

Failure to post the notice may result in an unfair labor practice charge and investigation by the NRLB.

Lisl Duncan

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