The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent rule requiring employers to display a pro-union poster has been challenged by Congress, as well as by lawsuits filed around the country by employer groups. The poster, which was to be displayed in every workplace no later than November 14, among other subjects describes how employees can unionize and pursue charges against employers. Opponents to the mandatory posting rule complain the NLRB has exceeded its authority and is acting in a decidedly pro-union fashion, rather than as an impartial regulatory agency. The NLRB has announced it will delay the workplace poster requirement from November 14, 2011, until January 31, 2012.
As of recent, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the NLRB and its focus also on social media and concerted protected activity. The NLRB launched a media firestorm after getting involved in what has been dubbed as the Facebook Firing.
Concerted protected activity is an activity among all employees of an organization that allows them to speak freely and openly among coworkers and leaders when it involves the topics of compensation, management, and conditions of employment. According to the briefing, concerted activity must be engaged in with or on the authority of other employees, and not solely by and on behalf of the employee himself. It also includes circumstances where individual employees seek to initiate or to induce or to prepare for group action. The NLRB’s job is to evaluate cases when violations of things like concerted protected activity take place in the workplace. These violations are investigated and are called Unfair Labor Practices or ULP’s. These ULP’s can be committed by organizations who are non-union, union represented companies, or the labor unions themselves.
In light of the ongoing opposition in Congress and the courts to the poster, it remains to be seen whether employers will be required to display these pro-union posters after the first of the year. More information can be found at TNLT on the subject.
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