Because even private, non-unionized employers fall under the National Labor Relations Act, the time has come to print out and post the Employees Rights poster. The courts have given a green light to the Board’s requirement that, as of April 30, 2012, most private sector employers post a notice advising employees of their rights under the Act. The 11- X 17-inch notice is available at no cost from the National Labor Relations Board. In fact, you can print it out directly from their website (www.nlrb.gov). Just click on “Employees Rights Poster”. You can also find information to help you determine if you are one of the few who might be exempt from this requirement.
In case you aren’t sure where to post the notice, some advice from their website: “The Notice should be posted in conspicuous places, where other workplace rights notices and company notices concerning personnel rules or policies are customarily posted. Reasonable steps should be taken to ensure the Notice is not altered, defaced, or covered by any other material, or otherwise rendered unreadable.” If you communicate personnel policies on your intranet or website, be sure to post a copy there too. Also remember to post one in any remote worksites owned by your company.
And don’t think language barriers will be an excuse! The NLRB offers these notices in 24 other languages including Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, French, Samoan, Hindi, Urdu, Albanian, Samali and Vietnamese – to name a few.
Failure to post this notice by the end of the month will not automatically get you into hot water. The NLRB does not audit workplaces, nor does it have the authority to assess fines or penalties. However, one of your employees could file a complaint. And, depending on the circumstances, a court could consider your oversight to be an unfair labor practice. Though the NLRB says, in most cases, they would assume any failure to post stems from ignorance of the rule which means they would simply ask the employer to comply and dismiss the case.
Given the possibilities, it’s probably best to just post the notice if you haven’t already.
Hanging this poster won’t make everything right. You should still ensure that your policies (especially any policy related to complaints and grievances) comply with the NLRA. Also make certain that your managers and supervisors know your policies, know the NLRA, and know how to handle employee complaints accordingly.
Not sure your policies comply? Need help creating an effective training program? Give us a call!