Make room for another poster on your breakroom wall.
This week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released the highly controversial notice that employers will have to post in their workplaces by Nov. 14, 2011. The poster notifies employees of their right to form or join a union, and it gives examples of unlawful employer conduct under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
The NLRB says employers must display the poster—in at least an 11-by-17-inch format—“where other workplace notices are typically posted.” Paper copies are also available at NLRB regional offices. Plus, if you typically put personnel notices on an internal company website or network, you’ll be required to post the union notice there, too. If 20% or more of your workforce isn’t proficient in English, you’ll have to display a version of the poster in that foreign language. (Read more poster rules.)
Business groups loudly oppose the new poster. The National Association of Manufacturers went as far as filing a lawsuit last week to block the poster regulation, saying the new mandate is "just another example of the board's aggressive overreach to insert itself into the day-to-day decisions of businesses—exerting powers it doesn't have."
And two bills introduced by Republicans in Congress last month aim to rescind the posting requirement, as well as prohibit the NLRB from enforcing “any rule that requires employers to post notices relating to” the NLRA.
The lawsuit and legislation are two reasons the NLRB rushed to release the poster this week so far in advance of the Nov. 14 posting deadline. The board originally had said it would release the poster by Nov. 1.
Employer chat rooms have been buzzing about the new mandate. On a Wall Street Journal blog today, one blogger wrote, “They can stick their poster where the sun does not shine. I am not sticking (the poster) up and the first employee that shows up wearing union buttons and hats gets fired." (Not a smart move, Mr. Employer)
Another said the poster wording, “Is perfectly clear. It explains the rights and obligations of everyone. This is much ado about nothing.”
So what do you think? And how will the poster affect your workplace—if at all?