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Federal appeals court strikes down NLRB mandate to post union rights

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) [official website] cannot require businesses to post a notice in the workplace about employees' rights to unionize. In 2011 the NLRB issued a regulation [JURIST report] requiring employers to post their employees' rights under the National Labor Relations Act [text]. These rights include the right to unionize, to bargain collectively and to refuse pressures to do either. The poster also gives some examples of unfair business and union practices and information on contacting the NLRB. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) [advocacy website] filed a challenge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website], which upheld [opinion] the NLRB's requirement but ruled that failure to post could not be considered an unfair labor practice. On appeal, the DC Circuit vacated the rule, finding that "all three of the means for enforcing the Board's posting requirement are invalid." The NAM welcomed the ruling [press release] as "an important victory in the fight against an activist NLRB and its aggressive agenda."

A similar challenge to the rule was filed in the US District Court for the District of South Carolina [official website], which held [opinion] that the NLRB was incapable of enacting the new rules entirely because the NLRA neither required nor provided for such regulation. An appeal is currently pending before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website]. JURIST Guest Columnist Chris Schlag argued in favor of the rule [JURIST op-ed] last year, finding that open communication is the foundation of a healthy and fair employment environment.

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