On May 7th, the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. struck down the National Labor Relations Board new rule requiring companies to post a notice advising employees of their rights under federal law, that included an employee’s right to join a union. In the decision, Judge A. Raymond Randolph said that the poster rule made an employer’s failure to post the notice an unfair labor practice. He went on to state that federal law “protects the right of employers (and unions) not to speak”. “This is why, for example, a company official giving a noncoercive speech to employees describing the disadvantages of unionization, does not commit an unfair labor practice if, in his speech, the official neglects to mention the advantages of having a union”, Randolph said. The court said that if the rule was upheld, it would have required nearly 6 million employers, many of them small businesses, to conspicuously display the emplyee-rights poster.
Similarly, a federal trial court in South Carolina also recently held that that, with regard to the new poster rule, the NLRB lacked the authority to promulgate the posting rule. That case in on appeal and is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.