Tomorrow the National Labor Relations Board will publish a final rule requiring private-sector employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act to post a notice to employees informing them of their rights under the Act. Specifically, the new rule requires that employers:

post notices to employees, in conspicuous places, informing them of their NLRA rights, together with Board contact information and information concerning basic enforcement procedures….

The extensive notice (the text of which is located at pages 185 to 190 of the Final Rule) expressly states: 

Under the NLRA, 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 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.

The notice continues, listing several examples of unlawful behavior under the NLRA, and instructs employees how to contact the NLRB with questions or complaints.

Failure to post the notice may result in the NLRB finding that that the committed an unfair labor practice under Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA by interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed by Section 7 of the Act.  The Board has also asserted that failure to post the notice may lead to the tolling of the six-month statute of limitations for unfair labor practice charges:

When an employee files an unfair labor practice charge, the Board may find it appropriate to excuse the employee from the requirement that charges be filed within six months after the occurrence of the allegedly unlawful conduct if the employer has failed to post the required employee notice unless the employee has received actual or constructive notice that the conduct complained of is unlawful.

Similar to postings required by the Department of Labor, the NLRB notice must be posted in conspicuous places where they are readily seen by employees, including all places where notices to employees concerning personnel rules or policies are customarily posted. However, the NLRB is also requiring employers to post the notice electronically "on an intranet or internet site if the employer customarily communicates with its employees about personnel rules or policies by such means." A copy of the notice will be available on the NLRB’s website, and employers have until November 14, 2011 to post the notice.  Federal contractors who already post the notice required by Executive Order 13496 will be deemed to be in compliance with the new Rule.

Additional Resources and Information: