Remember that “right-to-unionize” notice that the National Labor Relations Board was trying to require employers to display? Looks like it’s no longer a problem.
As we were reminded by Ashley Laken on Seyfarth Shaw’s Employee Labor Relations blog, Jan. 2 was the deadline for the NLRB to file a petition to the Supreme Court to review several court decisions blocking the NLRB edict.
The NLRB didn’t file the petition. So it seems the issue’s dead — for now, at least.
The proposal’s been a bone of contention between business groups and the Labor Board since it was first introduced in 2010. The notice would’ve included language explaining workers’ rights to form unions, strike and bargain collectively.
Failure to post the notice would’ve been considered an unfair labor practice.
The National Association of Manufacturers challenged the NLRB proposal, saying the agency had overreached its powers.
In March 2012, a federal district court judge allowed the rule to stand, but stripped the NLRB of its ability to punish employers who didn’t post the notice.
That wasn’t enough for the NAM, however, which appealed the decision. The DC appeals court issued an injunction delaying the enforcement of the post rule until the case could be heard.
The court ruled that under the First Amendment, employers have just as much right to not disseminate views they didn’t support as they do to express their own views. Thus, ordering companies to post the NLRB notice would violate the law.
In mid-2013, another circuit court of appelas upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Board overstepped its authority by issuing the rule. Later, the Fourth Circuit denied the NLRB’s petition for a rehearing of that decision.
What you won’t have to post
The rule would have required both union and non-union employers to post the notice.
Here’s the pertinent part of what the notice would have spelled out:
Under the (National Labor Relations Act), you have the right to:
Organize a union to negotiate with your employer concerning your wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.
Form, join or assist a union.
Bargain collectively through representatives of employees’ own choosing for a contract with your employer setting your wages, benefits, hours, and other working conditions.
Discuss your wages and benefits and other terms and conditions of employment or union organizing with your co-workers or a union.
Take action with one or more co-workers to improve your working conditions by, among other means, raising work-related complaints directly with your employer or with a government agency, and seeking help from a union.
Strike and picket, depending on the purpose or means of the strike or the picketing.
Choose not to do any of these activities, including joining or remaining a member of a union.