The National Labor Relations Board continues its lurch toward a more pro-union stance. Just in time for the New Year, the NLRB has proposed a rule that would make all employers under the NLRB’s jurisdiction, both union and non-union, notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act through a uniform workplace posting.  The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposed rule once it is published in the Federal Register

The majority of the Board believes “that many employees protected by the NLRA are unaware of their rights under the statute.” Board Member Brian Hayes dissented from the issuance of the proposed rulemaking.  He believed “the Board lacks the statutory authority to promulgate or enforce the type of rule . . . contemplated and which the proposed rule makes explicit.”

The Board would require “private-sector employers (including labor organizations) whose workplaces fall under the NLRA . . . to post the employee rights notice where other workplace notices are typically posted.  If an employer communicates with employees primarily by email or other electronic means, the notice would be posted electronically as well.”  The proposal contains sanctions for non-compliance, i.e., when a company fails to post the notice. For an employer’s knowing failure to post the notice, the failure could be considered evidence of unlawful motive in an unfair labor practice case involving other alleged violations of the NLRA. 

With an activist NLRB, union organizers may be more apt to file unfair labor practices charges against employers.  As employers plan for the New Year, they should consider increased appropriate communications with employees concerning their rights under the NLRA and ensure managers are properly trained to apply company practices and policies consistently.   Employers should consider “a pre-emptive strike” to this proposed action by the NLRB by adopting a union-free policy statement that explains why union representation is unnecessary in your particular environment.