The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) extended the implementation deadline for its notice posting rule from November 14, 2011 to Jan. 31, 2012. Nearly all private sector employers will now be required to post a notice that outlines employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
The decision to extend the date of the posting requirement followed queries from businesses and trade organizations, and was made to provide an opportunity for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium size businesses.
Only agricultural, railroad and airline businesses are excluded from these requirements, as are small, non-retail operations, including social service organizations that have less than $250,000 in income per year. The U.S. Department of Labor already requires profit and not-for-profit businesses to post a number of posters for employees, and the NLRB poster can be posted with these.
The NLRB requires that the notice be posted in conspicuous places where other workplace rights notices and company notices concerning personnel matters are customarily posted. Reasonable steps must also be taken to ensure that the notice is not altered, defaced or covered by any other material, or otherwise rendered unreadable.
While the rule requires that employers whose employees work at remote sites post the notice at the remote locations “to ensure that all employees are notified of their rights,” postings are not required in private homes where employees work who are hired by another entity. Further, it is our understanding that organizations that operate small group living arrangements that do not have offices for employees need not post the Notice at these locations as long as there are alternative locations that are visited by these employees with some regularity (e.g., to attend meetings ortraining or to pick up paychecks).
Employers who typically post personnel rules and policies on internet or intranet sites should also post the Notice of NLRB rights there in addition to the physical posting. However, employers are not required to distribute the posting by email, Twitter or other electronic means.
The rule has no recordkeeping or reporting requirements -- only the posting mandate.
Investigations and penalties
There is no fine for failure to post the notice. In addition, the NLRB does not audit workplaces or initiate actions on its own. A failure to post the notice would have to be brought to the NLRB’s attention in the form of an unfair labor practice charge by employees, unions or other persons. The NLRB expects that employers who fail to post the Notice are unaware of the rule and will comply when asked, resulting in closure of the complaint without further action. Willful failure may be considered evidence of unlawful motive in an unfair labor practice involving other alleged violations of the NLRA.
Authorized posters can be downloaded at www.nlrb.gov/poster orget itby mail from any NLRB regional office or purchased from a commercial supplier. It measures 11x17 inches and can be printed on two 8 1/2 by 11 inch pieces of paper by those who have small printers that does not accommodate 11x17 inch paper.
Further information, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available at the NLRB website.