New National Labor Relations Board Rule Requires Employers to Post Notice Regarding Employee Rights Under the NLRA

On August 25, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) published a final rule which requires most private employers to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  Employers covered by the new rule must post the notice in a conspicuous place and provide basic NLRB contact information.

In addition to these basic provisions, the notice also informs employees of their rights to:

  • Organize a union and negotiate wages, work hours, benefits, and other similar benefits;
  • Discuss wages, and working conditions with co-workers or a union;
  • Join or form a union;
  • Bargain collectively;
  • Strike or picket under certain circumstances;
  • Raise work related complaints directly with the employer, a government agency, or a union; and
  • Elect not to join a union.

This posting requirement applies to almost all employers covered by the NLRA, which excludes agricultural, railroad and airline employers.  The posting requirements also do not apply to the United States Postal Service.  Certain limited exceptions exist for small businesses that do not meet certain minimum revenue guidelines, but these exclusions are very narrow and generally only apply to employer with less than fifty thousand ($50,000.00) dollars a year in revenue.

Additionally, an employer will also be required to post the notice on an intranet website or the employer’s internet, if the employer customarily posts information regarding personnel rules to those locations.  Further, translated versions of the notice must be posted if at least twenty (20%) percent of the employees are not proficient in English.

As a penalty, failure to comply with the posting requirements may result in a finding by the NLRB that the employer has engaged in an unfair labor practice.  However, the NLRB does not have the authority to levy fines.

This new rule takes effect on November 14, 2011, and copies of the required notice will be provided by the NLRB beginning November 1, 2011.  The notice will be available at http://nlrb.gov/forms.

The Massachusetts employment attorneys at DCDC Law recommend that all employers take the appropriate steps to prepare to comply with the new rule.  In addition to the posting requirements, employers are likely to face questions from employees regarding what the content of posting means and why it was posted.  Preparing supervisors and other staff to answer these questions and meet these challenges is important.

If you have any questions, or wish to inquire further about these recent changes in the law, please contact Michael P. Doherty or Craig A. Ciechanowski at Doherty, Ciechanowski, Dugan & Cannon, P.C.

The Massachusetts employment attorneys at our firm represent clients throughout Massachusetts and in every county of Massachusetts including Norfolk County, Suffolk County, Worcester County, Bristol County, Middlesex County, Plymouth County, Hamden County, Essex County and Barnstable County. Our Massachusetts employment lawyers represent businesses and individuals in Massachusetts’ largest communities including the cities of Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge, Brockton, New Bedford, Fall River, Lynn, and Quincy.