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Federal Court Says NLRB Can’t Require Employers to Post Union Notices

American Staffing Association (04/16/12) Ed Lenz

A federal judge in South Carolina ruled Friday that the National Labor Relations Board does not have authority to require employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the act. In so ruling, U.S. District Judge David C. Norton said that the legislative history of the act showed that Congress “did not intend to impose a universal notice-posting requirement on employers, nor did it authorize the board to do so.” The ruling conflicts with a March 2 ruling by a federal district court in the District of Columbia in which the court held that failure to post the notice could not be treated as an unfair labor practice charge or give employees more time to file charges on other issues, but that the NLRB has the basic authority to require the notice. (See March 5 issue of Staffing Today.)

Officials of the NLRB and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the main plaintiff in the South Carolina case, are examining what effect, if any, Judge Norton’s ruling should be given beyond South Carolina. There is speculation that the South Carolina ruling will be appealed in an effort to resolve the conflict between the two lower courts. The NLRB notice requirement is currently scheduled to go into effect on April 30.