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04/17/2012

Appellate Court Delays Apr. 30 NLRB Poster Mandate

NLRB cannot enforce the mandate until a new hearing is held

In a major setback for the National Labor Relations Board, a federal appellate court today officially put the brakes on a new poster mandate that the NLRB sought to impose on most U.S. businesses starting Apr. 30.

Despite a series of legal setbacks, the NLRB had appeared to be moving ahead with its planned Apr. 30 enforcement date for the controversial new poster requirement. The unusual NLRB rule seeks to require most U.S. businesses to hang new 11" x 17" workplace notices advising employees of their rights to organize into unions. Many have called the posters biased and heavily slanted toward unions.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today issued an emergency injunction that blocks the NLRB from enforcing the poster mandate until the court can hear a legal challenge brought by a group of business organizations. The timing of a hearing and decision is uncertain.

The business plaintiffs -- including the National Restaurant Association (NRA) through the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace -- last month appealed a lower court's Mar. 2 decision upholding the NLRB's authority to require the posters. The business organizations asked the appellate court to delay the Apr. 30 mandate until a court hearing could be held.

The NLRB had challenged the lower court's decision as well, dissatisfied with the court's ruling that while the NLRB had the right to require the poster, it did not have the right to deem an employer's failure to post the notice as evidence of an "unfair labor practice" under the National Labor Relations Act.

The NLRB was dealt a second blow when a separate federal district court in South Carolina ruled Apr. 13 that the NLRB lacked any authority to impose the poster mandate.

The NRA argued in regulatory comments filed with the NLRB last year and in the coalition brief filed with the federal district court that the entire poster regulation was unlawful.


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