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Appeals Court Unpins NLRB Poster Rule

On May 7, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision and struck down a 2010  National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regulation requiring most private-sector employers to post a government-drafted notice of employee rights.

The court found the NLRB rule would violate employers’ first amendment rights by forcing the display of language that favors unionization. The court held:

“The Board’s rule requires employers to disseminate such information, upon pain of being held to have committed an unfair labor practice. But that difference hardly ends the matter. The right to disseminate another’s speech necessarily includes the right to decide not to disseminate it.”

ARSA joined its allies at the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) in opposition of the NLRB rule, arguing it would require nearly six million businesses to post notices amounting to little more than advertisements for union membership.

The posting notice issue is far from settled. Another challenge to rule is pending before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is hearing an NLRB appeal from a South Carolina federal district court that also struck down the rule. Depending on the outcome, the Supreme Court may choose to take on the case. For now, however, employers are free from displaying this contentious poster against their will.

 



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