Legal wrangling continues over union posting requirement

The National Labor Relations Board prevailed in a ruling last week affirming that it can require most private businesses to put up posters informing workers that they have the right to form a union. However, more legal action is on the way.

Just days after U.S. District Court Judge Amy Jackson ruled in favor of the NLRB, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) filed an appeal and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) announced they, too, would appeal the ruling.

“In issuing its decision, the district court has failed to protect the small-business community from frivolous lawsuits by unions and other costly and punitive measures,” said Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, in a statement.

The NLRB issued its final rule requiring the posting of notices about employees’ legal rights to unionize last summer. The rule was due to go into effect in November 2011, but the board, at the request of the federal court, agreed to postpone implementation while the legal challenges brought by NAM and others were sorted out.

The organizations that filed suit against the NLRB argued that the labor board’s posting requirement exceeded its authority under the National Labor Relations Act. While Jackson ruled that the NLRB didn’t exceed its authority, she did limit how the board can enforce the requirement. She said that a failure to post, without other evidence of anti-union conduct, is not automatically a legal violation.

The posting rule is currently set to become effective on April 30. The NLRB has not indicated it will postpone the implementation date again in light of the appeal.

Follow Stephanie Bouchard on Twitter @SBouchardHFN.