NLRB: New Members, Poster Postponed, Pro-Union Rule

01.09.2012
Issues & Policies

Using controversial recess appointments, President Obama has added three new members to the National Labor Relations Board to bring it back to its full slate of members for the first time in more than a year.
Despite protests (and a possible court fight) from business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the president appointed Democratic union lawyer Richard Griffin, Democratic Labor Department official Sharon Block and Republican NLRB lawyer Terence Flynn. 
The board lost its quorum and much of its decision-making ability earlier in the week, when the term of Democrat Craig Becker—an earlier recess appointee—expired. 
Pro-Union Rule
The NLRB has finalized a new union-election regulation that will curtail employers’ rights and dramatically favor labor unions in the workplace. NLRB’s rule specifically:

  • Restricts what types of pre-election hearings can be held and what types of appeals can be filed prior to an election   
  • Effectively shortens the time between a petition for certification being filed and the election being held—votes could be held in as little as 17 days, say some observers.   

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business and other groups have filed suit in federal court against the rule, now scheduled to take effect April 30, 2012.
Both employee and employer groups have emphasized that the proposed rule is a blatant attempt to bolster private sector labor unions by denying workers the opportunity to make a fully informed decision.
Poster mandate postponed
Because of lawsuits filed by business groups to challenge the NLRB’s mandate on employers to post union rights posters, the NLRB is again postponing the requirement to April 30, 2012.
The 194-page posting requirement rule would increase regulations on employers by forcing them to hang a poster informing employees of their rights to organize and strike. If at least 20% of a firm’s workforce does not speak English, the posting would have to be in multiple languages.
Employers failing to display the poster would be cited for unfair labor practice.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Kia Murrell at 860.244.1931 kia.murrell@cbia.com.

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