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NLRB Union Poster Rule Delayed While Challenge Proceeds

The National Labor Relations Board can’t require businesses to tell workers their union rights on a workplace poster while challenges to a judge’s ruling upholding the rule proceed, an appeals court said.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington yesterday granted a request by the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation and other business lobby groups who claim allowing enactment of the rule would affect more than 6 million employers who otherwise wouldn’t be subject to NLRB regulation.

“The board has waited more than 75 years to publish the challenged rule requiring employers to post a notice of employee rights,” the groups said in a March 12 filing seeking the delay. “The board can therefore afford to wait a short time longer before the rule goes into effect.”

The ruling follows a March 2 decision by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in which she left the poster requirement undisturbed while striking down the NLRB’s ability to punish any failure to comply. The agency said in a statement today that its regional offices will not implement the measure, which was to take effect on April 30.

The Washington case, filed in September, is one of two challenges to the NLRB provision, issued on Aug. 30. U.S. District Judge David C. Norton in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 13 ruled the regulator exceeded its authority in promulgating the poster rule, holding in favor of the U.S. and South Carolina Chambers of Commerce.

Appeal Both Rulings

The NLRB said it will appeal both Norton’s decision and that portion of Jackson’s ruling that “raise questions about enforcement mechanisms.”

“Requiring employers to post this notice is well within the board’s authority,” NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce said in yesterday’s statement. “It provides a genuine service to employees who may not otherwise know their rights under our law.”

Jay Timmons, chief executive of the National Association of Manufacturers, said in an e-mailed statement that the rule is an “attempt by the board to assert power and authority it does not possess.”

The case is National Association of Manufacturers v. National Labor Relations Board, 12-05068, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Harris in Chicago at aharris16@bloomberg.net; William McQuillen in Washington at bmcquillen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net; Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net

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