The NLRB has issued an advanced copy of its final rule requiring employers to display a poster in the workplace explaining employee rights to form a union under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). The notice must be posted by November 14th.

The notice must be an 11×17 poster detailing employees’ rights and contact information for employees who feel that a violation of the NLRA has occurred. Click here for a link to the poster.  More specifically, the notice informs employees that they have a right to organize a union and lists activities that employers may not take in response to a union organizing activities. If you want to read the specifics of the notice, click here and scroll down to page 43 of 45.

Not surprisingly, the notice is skewed towards unionization. It informs employees that they can:

  • Organize a union to negotiate with the employer about wages, hours, and other terms of employment;
  • Discuss wages and benefits with co-workers or a union; and
  • Strike and picket.

It also informs employees that under the NLRA, it is illegal for employers to:

  • Question employees about union support in a manner that discourages union activity;
  • Prohibit employees from wearing union hats, buttons or t-shirts; and
  • Spy on or videotape peaceful union activities.

The final rule also sets forth potential consequences should an employer fail or refuse to post the notice.  The failure to post could be grounds for an unfair labor practice claim.  The failure to post the notice could also extend the six-month statute of limitations period for filing an unfair labor practice charge.  Finally, the failure to post could support a finding of unlawful motive in an unfair labor practice case.  While these consequences could be severe, the NLRB has indicated that its primary focus will be on compliance with the posting requirement and charges will be dismissed once the notice is posted.

As we have noted in other posts, now is the time to educate your employees on the disadvantages of union representation. Employers should train managers and supervisors on their rights and responsibilities under the NLRA. It may also be a good time to audit employment practices, procedures and benefits to ensure that employees are not vulnerable to a union sales pitch.