The National Labor Relations Board's new rule requires nearly every private-sector employer display a poster explaining employees' union rights goes into effect in less than two months. It is safe to say that the move is opposed by most business organizations and in-house counsel.
By November 14, the 11-by-17-inch notice, which can be downloaded here, must be conspicuously posted and in multiple languages if at least 20% of an employer's workforce lacks English proficiency.
The poster requirement applies to both union and non-union workplaces that fall under the Board's jurisdiction as described in the National Labor Relations Act. However, there are some exceptions, including the following:
- Businesses that only employ independent contractors or those not traditionally defined as "employees" by the Department of Labor;
- Businesses with a gross annual volume less than $500,000;
- Companies with less than $50,000 in goods or services provided by the employer in other states, or purchased by the employer from out of state; or
- Companies that fit into a profession or industry-specific standard.
What if you fail to post the union rights poster in accordance with the new regulation? An employer will be considered to have interfered with, restrained, or coerced employees with respect to their guaranteed rights, according to the rule.
Though most compliance problems will result in warning letters and/or fines, the NLRB has not precluded full-scale investigations or the use of an infraction in cases with more serious allegations.
So mark your calendars and start investigating where, and in what language, you will be placing these union rights posters.
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