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Employee Rights Rule Starts Nov. 14

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

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Most private-sector employers must soon display a poster notifying employees of their rights to organize, under a new rule that takes effect Nov. 14.

The National Labor Relations Board issued a final rule Aug. 30, requiring all employers that are subject to the National Labor Relations Act to display the poster in “conspicuous places, including all places where notices to employees are customarily posted.”

 NLRB

 NLRB

Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act in 1935 “to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy.”

The notice states that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions; to form, join and assist a union; to bargain collectively with their employer; to strike or picket, under certain circumstances; and to refrain from any of these activities.

“The Board believes that many employees protected by the [National Labor Relations Act] are unaware of their rights under the statute and that the rule will increase knowledge of the NLRA among employees, in order to better enable the exercise of rights under the statute,” the rule says.

“A beneficial side effect may well be the promotion of statutory compliance by employers and unions.”

Free Notices Available

Copies of the notice will be available on or before Nov. 1 on the NLRB website and from NLRB regional offices. The notice will be provided at no charge or can be downloaded and printed in color or black-and-white. Translated versions will be available, and must be posted at workplaces where at least 20 percent of employees are not proficient in English.

Similar postings of workplace rights are required under other federal workplace laws. The 11-by-17-inch notice is similar in content and design to a notice of National Labor Relations Act rights that must be posted by federal contractors under a Department of Labor rule.

Employers must also post the notice on an intranet or Internet site if personnel rules and policies are customarily posted there.

Coverage, Exemptions

The posting requirement applies to all private-sector employers (including labor unions) subject to the NLRA, which excludes agricultural, railroad and airline employers. The U.S. Postal Service is also exempted from the rule.

The rule will apply to federal contractors, who already are required by the Department of Labor to post a similar notice of employee rights. A contractor will be regarded as complying with the NLRB rule if it posts the Department of Labor’s notice. Failure to post the notice may be treated as an unfair labor practice under the NLRA.

   

Tagged categories: Business matters; Labor; Regulations

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