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National Restaurant Association - Another rebuff for the NLRB -- but uncertainty remains over April 30 poster mandate

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Another rebuff for the NLRB -- but uncertainty remains over April 30 poster mandate

A legal tug-of-war continues over whether the National Labor Relations Board can force businesses to hang a biased workplace notice advising employees of their rights to organize into unions.

On the heels of a Washington, D.C.-based federal district court's February ruling that said the NLRB has the right to require employers to post the notices -- but not the right to deem an employer's failure to post the notice as evidence of an "unfair labor practice" -- a second federal district court in South Carolina ruled April 13 that the NLRB does not have the authority to impose the poster mandate.

The federal court in South Carolina held the poster mandate invalid. However, as with the earlier decision, the court did not block the NLRB from attempting to begin to enforce the mandate on April 30.

The NLRB has yet to issue an update about whether it intends to delay its April 30 deadline for employers to hang the posters.

The partially conflicting rulings, combined with the NLRB's refusal so far to delay the mandate's implementation until there's greater legal clarity, adds confusion for employers.

The first case is already on appeal; the National Restaurant Association is a party to that lawsuit, as a member of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. A ruling is expected later this month. The legal uncertainty leaves businesses up in the air over whether the April 30 mandate applies.

Regardless, the latest decision comes as another blow to the NLRB. In essence, one court held the NLRB's penalties unlawful and the second court held the entire poster mandate unlawful, ruling that the NLRB lacked the authority to issue any portion of the regulation.

The National Restaurant Association argued in both regulatory comments and in the coalition brief filed with the D.C. court that the entire regulation was unlawful.

The NRA is keeping its members up to date on the action. Visit www.restaurant.org/advocacy/issues/nlrb for the latest.


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