On April 30, 2012, two National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules will come into effect that, like the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) generally, will affect all employers engaged in interstate commerce and not part of the rail or air transportation systems. This definition includes most private-sector employers — employers should consult with counsel if they believe that they may be exempted from the jurisdiction of the NLRB.
First, by April 30, 2012, covered employers will be required to post a notice informing their employees of their right to engage in union and other concerted activity. With few changes, the NLRB has adopted the poster ordered by President Obama to be posted by all federal contractors (Executive Order 13496). Employers who are subject to the jurisdiction of the NLRB and are federal contractors will not be sanctioned by the NLRB if they continue to use the poster required by the Executive Order and will not be required to post a second poster.
The poster notifies all employees that they have the legally protected right to:
- Organize a union to negotiate with their employer concerning wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment;
- Form, join or assist a union;
- Bargain collectively through a union for a contract that sets wages, benefits, hours and other working conditions;
- Discuss their terms and conditions of employment or union organizing with co-workers or a union;
- Take action with one or more of their co-workers to improve their working conditions by, among other means, raising complaints with their employer or government agency or seeking help from a union;
- Strike or picket their employer to obtain improved terms of employment or working conditions; and
- Refrain from doing any of the above.