The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a final rule requiring most private-sector employers, whether or not they have union workers, to post a notice to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act to engage in collective bargaining and join a union.  The rule goes into effect on January 31, 2012.

The notice is similar to the notice already required by Federal contractors.  In addition to physically posting the 11 by 17 inch notice in the workplace, the rule requires a covered employer to post the notice on a company internet or intranet site if personnel rules and policies are customarily posted there.  Employers are not required to distribute the notice to employees by email or other electronic means.

Several legal challenges to the ruling have been filed, including comments by the National Association of Wholesaler – Distributors (NAW) arguing that the ruling is “unnecessary, biased, beyond the NLRB’s authority and a violation of employers’ free speech rights.”

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) has also issued comments to the NLRB challenging its authority to mandate the posting of such notices. CDW is currently discussing whether to file a legal challenge to the rule based on the argument that the Board exceeded its authority.

NAW has notified PBA that it will be asking for a temporary restraining order to block imposition of the rule pending the legal challenges. However, as it stands the ruling is final and employers are required to post notices by the January 31, 2012, deadline.

NAW suggests employers concerned with the new rule seek legal counsel from a private attorney. For more information about the ruling, visit the NAW Legal Advisory Board.