January 26, 2011

Action Requested: NLRB Regulatory Action Alert
Taken from SHRM HR Voice

 

On December 22, 2010, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or "Board") issued a proposed rule requiring covered employers to post notices informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

 

Unlike many federal statutes, the NLRA contains no statutory requirement to post such a notice. The proposed notice itself contains a detailed, selective list of employee rights conferred by the NLRA, information on how to contact the Board for assistance, and requires employers to post the notice or face certain penalties. Although the NLRB's website contains complete educational information on rights and violations of the NLRA, the proposed rule does not provide complete or balanced information. The proposed notice, for example, is silent regarding employee rights under the NLRA to decertify or withdraw from a union, to seek relief for a union's failure to represent employees fairly, or to object to paying union dues or fees for political purposes.

 

SHRM plans to submit comments to the NLRB and will invite all interested chapters and state councils to sign onto those comments. In addition, we encourage all interested SHRM members to make your voice heard on the proposed rule. It is important for federal rule-making entities to hear directly from the HR profession on issues that will have a direct impact on your workplace.

 

This and other NLRB and labor-related issues will be discussed in depth at SHRM's Employment Law & Legislative conference, March 14-16, 2011 in Washington D.C. To learn more about the conference's focus on the latest public policy issues that will impact your workplace and to register for the conference, click HERE.

 

Action Needed By February 22, 2011

 

Make your voice heard!

 

Submit your comments by clicking on Regulations.gov. On this website, you should type your information into the form then make your comments in the section on the right and click the SUBMIT button. Comments on the NLRB notice proposal are due on or before February 22, 2011.

 

Turning to the second issue—whether Thompson may sue under Title VII for third-party retaliation—Justice Scalia first noted that Title VII provides that "a civil action may be brought ... by the person claiming to be aggrieved." In defining "person aggrieved," the Court relied on a "zone of interests" test. According to the Court, a plaintiff may sue if he or she "falls within the 'zone of interests' sought to be protected by the statutory provision whose violation forms the legal basis for his complaint." Conversely, a plaintiff may not sue if his or her interests "are so marginally related to or inconsistent with the purposes implicit in the statute that it cannot reasonably be assumed that Congress intended to permit the suit."

 

Please consider submitting your own comments or use the suggested language below to craft your submission.

 

Suggested Language:

 

HR professionals understand and value the critical role of employees to the success of any workplace and we strive to make the most of employee talent in both union and non-union environments.

 

As an HR professional, I understand employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to form, join, assist in or refrain from joining a union without threats, interrogation, promises of benefits, or coercion by employers or unions.

 

I am concerned about the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) proposed rule requiring nearly all employers to post a notice under the NLRA for several reasons. The proposed notice is not a fair explanation of rights because it fails to inform employees of their right to decertify or withdraw from third-party union representation, to seek relief from a union's failure to represent employees fairly, or object to payment of union dues or fees for political purposes. In addition, the rule proposes unfair penalties including finding a failure to post to be an unfair labor practice and suspending the statute of limitations for filing an unfair labor practice charge.

 

Unlike many federal statutes that HR professionals implement on a daily basis, the NLRA itself does not require posting such a notice. For these reasons, I respectfully request that the NLRB withdraw this proposed rule.

 

For questions regarding this proposed rule, please contact Nancy Hammer, Esq., SHRM Regulatory and Judicial Affairs, at Nancy.Hammer@shrm.org.

 

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