Employers gain temporary reprieve from union poster rule
by Mark Bonfanti on May 01, 2012
A recent federal appeals court ruling has effectively blocked a rule that would have required employers to display posters informing workers of their right to form a union. The rule was due to go into effect April 30.
On April 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an emergency temporary injunction against the implementation of the National Labor Relations Board’s notice-posting rule.
The National Association of Manufacturers and other business interest groups sought the injunction after these recent rulings on the matter:
- March 2: U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson in D.C. left the poster requirement portion of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) alone, but said the NLRB couldn’t punish any failure to comply with the rule. (Nat’l Ass’n of Mfrs. V. NLRB, D.D.C., No. 11-cv-1629, March 2, 2012.)
- April 13: U.S. District Court Judge David Norton in South Carolina found the poster requirement was not necessary to carry out any NLRA provision, and that the rule is invalid and unenforceable. Chamber of Commerce v. NLRB, D.S.C. No.11-cv-2516, April 13, 2012.)
The groups seeking the injunction claimed the union poster rule would impact more than 6 million employers not otherwise subject to NLRB regulation.
Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. made the following statement after the April 17 injunction was issued:
“For the last several months, ABC has vigorously fought NLRB’s politically motivated policies that threaten to paralyze the construction industry in order to benefit the special interests of politically powerful unions,” said Geoff Burr, ABC Vice President of Federal Affairs. “The NLRB’s notice posting rule is a perfect example of how the pro-union board has abandoned its role as a neutral enforcer and arbiter of labor law.”
The NLRB has said it intends to appeal both the March 2 and April 13 decisions, but will not implement the rule pending resolution of the issues before the court.
The injunction will remain in effect until the appeal is decided.
- Appeals court blocks NLRB union poster requirement (Gunster blog);
- Court blocks NLRB’s union poster rule with emergency injunction (The Hill);
- NLRB union poster rule delayed while challenge proceeds (Bloomberg Businessweek).