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September 2011

National Labor Relations Board Issues New Posting Requirement

An important update immediately affecting employers' responsibilities in the workplace

Recently, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") issued a Final Rule requiring all "employers," as defined by the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), to inform employees of their rights under the NLRA.  This new requirement adds the NLRA to the list of mandatory employer postings.  According to the NLRB, the purpose of this rule is to "increase knowledge of the NLRA among employees, in order to better enable the exercise of rights under the statute."

The new rule applies to almost every private sector employer, excluding only those not covered by the NLRA such as agricultural, railroad and airline employers.  The rule also explicitly excludes the United States Postal Service.  These posting requirements apply regardless of whether a company's workforce is unionized or non unionized.

Notification is accomplished by putting up posters, similar to the posting requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Preprinted posters with the required information, including foreign language translations, are available for download from the Board's website, http://www.nlrb.gov/poster.  Eventually, posters will also be available from the Board's office in Washington, DC or from any of the Board's local offices.

The employee notice must be posted in conspicuous places where it will be easily seen by employees and in all places where similar employee notices are customarily posted.  If 20 percent or more of a company's workforce speaks a language other than English, the company must also post the notice in the language those employees speak.

Additionally, employers must post the required notice on an intranet or internet site if the employer customarily communicates with its employees about personnel rules or policies by such means.

The law becomes effective on November 14, 2011, and failure to comply may result in an unfair labor practice charge.  Further information is available at the Board's website or by contacting your local Gordon & Rees attorneys.

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