A federal district court in South Carolina issued an injunction against the National Labor Relations Board’s rule requiring a poster about employee rights, scheduled to be effective on April 30. The NLRB intends to appeal the decision. The case was brought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The poster is highly unpopular among employers. It gives employees notification about their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, which include not only the right to bargain collectively through unions, but also to discuss the terms and conditions of employment among themselves. While there is no constitutional first amendment right to free speech in the private sector workplace, employees do have the right to petition their employer about workplace issues as a group, and to be free from retaliation for doing so. The NLRB surveys have shown that employees are undereducated about their rights.
A federal court in District of Columbia had upheld the NLRB’s authority to require the poster, but the recent decision caused the District of Columbia Circuit to enjoin the rule temporarily.
The rule has been postponed before. If the White House changes hands in the fall, this rule will probably not survive (although the NLRB is not completely within a president’s control – they serve five year terms).