The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has backed away from asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court decision that struck down an NLRB workplace poster mandate. As a result, employers will not have to display posters informing their employees of their right to form a union.

Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that the NLRB mandate violated free speech rights because the government “selected the message and ordered its citizens to convey that message.”

Under the NLRB poster rule, most private employers would have to display 11-by-17-inch posters advertising their union-organizing rights. If at least 20% of a firm's workforce did not speak English, the business would have had to post the notice in multiple languages.

Employers failing to display the poster were to be cited for unfair labor practice.

The rule was supposed to have taken effect on April 30, 2012, but was challenged in court by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and other business organizations. 

NAM opposed the poster mandate because the association said it “would create a hostile work environment while injecting politics into manufacturers’ day-to-day business operations.”

Instead, said NAM, the NLRB acknowledged its “overreach” by walking away from the poster mandate court challenge. 

However, according to the NLRB, the posters will remain online for printing by any businesses that want to display them in their workplaces.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Gjede (860.244.1931; eric.gjede@cbia.com; @egjede).