As of November 14, 2011, The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) will require private sector employers who fall under the auspices of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) to post a notice of their employees’ rights under the NLRA.

The NLRA applies to union and non-union employers, however, certain employers and employees are excluded from NLRA’s requirements and protections. For example the NLRA does not apply to federal and state government employers, and the NLRA does not apply to independent contractor or agricultural laborer employees. But even with these exemptions, the vast majority of private sector employers remain subject to the NLRA. If an employer or employee is unsure if the NLRA applies to their respective business or employment, they should act cautiously and confer with an attorney. The new notice requirement is only applicable to those employers subject to the NLRA.

The notice of rights sign, which will be made available at no charge to the employers, will state “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, and to refrain from any of these activities.”  Click here to see NLRB, Board issues Final Rule to require posting of NLRA rights.

This rule has been the subject of great debate and public comment, with many employers opposing the rule, arguing that it unnecessarily encourages and fosters unionization.  Proponents of the rule counter that the notice merely ensures that employees are aware of the rights already afforded to them by law.  Regardless of the underlying policy, the rule will become in effect on November 14 and employers must be sure to comply.

As an employer, it is essential to be fully cognizant of the NLRA and the rules imposed by the NLRB.  As evidenced by the notice of rights rule, the regulations and requirements evolve over time.  As such, an employer should take efforts to remain informed of these changes and should consult an attorney with any questions.

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