February 2012

An unequal fight

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The NLRB wants you to inform employees of their right to unionize

by Jason C. Kim and Gray I. Mateo-Harris
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Since it took office, the Obama administration has launched union and employee-friendly initiatives, including several failed attempts to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which strongly favors unions. Consistent with these efforts, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has promulgated a new rule that requires private employers to inform employees of their right to form and support a union.

The highly controversial new rule was scheduled to go into effect Nov. 14, 2011. However, on Oct. 5, 2011, the NLRB postponed the rule's effective date in response to confusion about which businesses fall under the NLRB's jurisdiction and to allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium-sized businesses. On Dec. 23, 2011, NLRB once again postponed the effective date of the notice posting rule, this time until April 30, pending resolution of legal challenges that have been filed.

Failure to post the required notice constitutes an unfair labor practice and can hinder your ability to defend against other unfair labor practice charges. As a result, act now to ensure timely compliance with the new posting rule.

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