Many, many an employer has given me grief over the NLRB’s new posting requirements. Whew. “I feel ya” I tell them. Then I tell them it’s the law and I didn’t do it! So yes you have to post it. Just do it. You can tell your employees the Obama administration required you do so, which is a fact. Half of them will be happy about the idea and the other half will think it’s ridiculous. Or something like that.
Federal Contractors are already familiar with this posting requirement. The justification for having them post it in 2009 was:
“The Department of Labor’s regulations implement Executive Order (E.O.) 13496 signed by President Barack Obama on January 30, 2009. E.O. 13496 advances the Administration’s goal of promoting economy and efficiency of Federal government procurement by ensuring that workers employed in the private sector and engaged in activity related to the performance of Federal government contracts are informed of their rights to form, join, or assist a union and bargain collectively with their employer. Knowledge of such basic statutory rights promotes stable labor-management relations, thus reducing costs to the Federal government.” Really?? So this is saving the government money. Good thing. They need it.
Here’s the justification for the current NLRA posting requirement:
“The Board believes that many employees protected by the NLRA are unaware of their rights under the statute and that the rule will increase knowledge of the NLRA among employees, in order to better enable the exercise of rights under the statute. A beneficial side effect may well be the promotion of statutory compliance by employers and unions.” Or… more union campaigns.
After getting employer feedback the NLRB granted a few concessions with the notice: “The Board received approximately 6,500 comments during the 60-day comment period following publication of the Proposed Rule in the Federal Register, and accepted an additional 500 that arrived after the deadline. In response to the comments, some parts of the rule were modified. For example, employers will not be required to distribute the notice via email, voice mail, text messaging or related electronic communications even if they customarily communicate with their employees in that manner, and they may post notices in black and white as well as in color. The final rule also clarifies requirements for posting in foreign languages. Similar postings of workplace rights are required under other federal workplace laws.” Nice of them. So post it in black and white.
Since many have asked; here’s what the penalty is for not posting it
Q: What will be the consequences for failing to post the Notice?
The NLRB does not audit workplaces or initiate enforcement actions on its own. A failure to post the Notice would need to be brought to the Board’s attention in the form of an unfair labor practice charge by employees, unions, or other persons. In most cases, the Board expects that employers who fail to post the Notice were unaware of the rule and will comply when requested by a Board agent. In such cases, the unfair labor practice case will typically be closed without further action. The Board also may extend the 6-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, that failure may be considered evidence of unlawful motive in an unfair labor practice case involving other alleged violations of the NLRA.
Q: Can an employer be fined for failing to post the Notice?
No, the Board does not have the authority to levy fines.
Here’s the reality: This agenda is about Power. Politics always is. For the 8 years of the Bush administration employers got most of the breaks. Now it’s the employees turn. The way blue collar workers have always exercised their rights is through unions. Your daddy or granddaddy may have been in one. I continue in my belief that there are good and bad unions, employees, bosses, and…yes, even politicians. Ultimately it is the market place that should determine who succeeds in business and who does not. All employers face this pressure, including the political ones. What are you going to do different than your competition to rise above all of it is my question?!
Here’s a last thought: Imagine if the government required an Employer Rights Notice Under What is Left of Capitalism posting like the one I created. I think I’m starting to sound like Ayn Rand…and I used to be an employee rights attorney! What’s that tell you? Enough already. Fact is, while this agenda may garner votes it does little to help people grow in their careers and that my friends is the main reason unions have been fighting to hold on for survival. Post my poster at your own risk. Maybe you just leave on the bulletin board at the country club.