Monday, January 6, 2014

NLRB won't pursue poster rule

The National Labor Relations Board won’t pursue efforts to require businesses to display a large poster advising employees of their rights to unionize, handing a major victory in the two-year legal battle to restaurants and other industries that had challenged the rule.

The NLRB announced yesterday that it wouldn’t seek Supreme Court review of an earlier court decision striking down the rule, which stated that most private-sector businesses would have to hang an 11x17 notice of unionization rights in the workplace, and that failure to do so would be considered an unfair labor practice.

In May, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down the rule, claiming it violated businesses’ right to free speech. The court denied the NLRB’s petition for a hearing on the case in September. Previously, a federal court had ruled that while the NLRB could impose the requirement, it could not label employers’ refusal to display the poster as an unfair labor practice.

After the NLRB attempted to enact the rule in November 2011, the National Restaurant Association and 30 state restaurant associations, including the Louisiana Restaurant Association, filed comments asking the NLRB to withdraw the mandate, calling it a tool to make it easier for unions to organize. The NRA and other business groups filed a lawsuit challenging the rule as part of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. In the lawsuit, the groups argued that the NLRB did not have the authority to impose the mandate on businesses.

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