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Appeals Court Upholds NLRB on Union-Material Distribution

Employers Seen Ignoring Union Poster Rule as Judges Disagree
The National Labor Relations Board in August ordered employers to display notices informing workers about their rights to form a union and bargain on contracts. Photo: Mike Fuentes/Bloomberg

A federal appeals court in Washington upheld a National Labor Relations Board ruling barring a property owner from preventing employees of on-site contractors from distributing union-related handbills on its property.

The case involved a suit filed by New York-New York Hotel and Casino of Las Vegas questioning whether a property owner may bar a contractor’s employees from passing out handbills, according to the opinion.

“A property owner generally may bar non-employees from doing so,” said a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in an opinion released today.

The judges said they had earlier addressed the question, ruled that the NLRB must decide, and granted the board’s application to enforce its order.

“The board concluded that a property owner generally may not bar employees of an on-site contractor from distributing union-related handbills on the property,” the judges wrote.

NLRB spokesman Tony Wagner in Washington had no immediate comment on the ruling. The casino’s lawyer, Gary C. Moss of Las Vegas, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

In another ruling, the NLRB in August ordered employers for the first time to display notices in “conspicuous places” in the workplace informing workers about their rights to form a union and bargain on contracts.

Ruling Review

A federal judge in South Carolina this month said the NLRB “exceeded its authority” in the ruling. Implementation is now on hold pending an appeal.

In a separate case, a U.S. appellate court in Washington today granted a request by the National Association of Manufacturers and other groups to temporarily block enforcement of the NLRB’s workplace poster rule while the groups seek review of a lower court judge’s March 2 ruling that left the requirement in place.

The case is New York-New York LLC v. National Labor Relations Board, 11-1098, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Washington).

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