On October 5, 2011 the National Labor Relations Board announced that it was postponing implementation of its employer notice-posting rule for two and a half months until January 31, 2012.  Posting was previously scheduled to take effect on November 14, 2011.  The NLRB cited the reason for the postponement was “to allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses,” and denies that the postponement was related to the multiple lawsuits that have been filed in various parts of the country challenging the NLRB’s authority to issue and enforce the rule.

The National Labor Relations Board has issued a Final Rule on August 25, 2011 requiring most private-sector employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act by posting a notice.  The notice states that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from any of these activities. It provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct and instructs employees how to contact the National Labor Relations Board with questions or complaints.

Employers should begin posting the notice on November 14, 2011. Copies of the notice will be available at no charge for download on the NLRB website and from NLRB regional offices by November 1.   Translated versions will be available, and must be posted at workplaces where at least 20% of employees are not proficient in English.  Employers must also post the notice on an intranet or an internet site if personnel rules and policies are customarily posted there.  The notice may be printed out in color or black-and-white on one 11-by-17-inch paper or two 8-by-11-inch papers taped together. Finally, employers can satisfy the rule by purchasing and posting a set of workplace posters from a commercial supplier.

In response to the public comments received by the NLRB, some parts of the original 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.

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