Recent NLRB Ruling Affects Nearly Every Business In The U.S.

In Inner Circle meetings we avoid discussions of politics and religion. It is getting harder and harder to avoid political discussions. So, in as objective manor as I can muster, I want you to know-in case you do not already-about an August 25, 2011 ruling handed down by the National Labor Relations Board. I do not know the implementation target date for this. It might even be immediate. All businesses in the United States with annual revenues greater that $50,000 will have to prominently post a notice (similar in concept, I guess, to the minimum wage notice) in their place of employment advising all employees that they have the right to form and/or join a labor union. Here is some expert information about the ruling and its enforcement that I read in a LinkedIn entrepreneur discussion group to which I belong. This is not the kind of news I like bringing to business owners but I thought you should know about this. If anyone out there has any further information or clarification on this, please let me, know.

Richik Sarkar
Ulmer & Berne Client Alert — The NLRB issued a rule on August 25, 2011 that requires employers to post workplace notices informing employees of their unionization rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The new rule mandates that most private sector employers inform their workers that they have the right to form or join a union, bargain collectively with their employer for improved wages and working conditions and, alternatively, stay on the sidelines and not participate in union activities. Employers with an annual business volume of less than $50,000 are exempt from this rule.

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Thomas Judge, CPA • Per NLRB FAQ’s:

How will the Board enforce the rule? 

Failure to post the notice may be treated as an unfair labor practice under the National Labor Relations Act. The Board investigates allegations of unfair labor practices made by employees, unions, employers, or other persons, but does not initiate enforcement action on its own. 

What will be the consequences for failing to post the notice? 

The Board expects that, in most cases, employers who fail to post the notice are 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, the failure may be considered evidence of unlawful motive in an unfair labor practice case involving other alleged violations of the NLRA.