The National Labor Relations Board cannot require businesses to display a large poster advising employees of their rights to unionize, the U.S. Court of Appeals said this week. Requiring businesses to do so would be a violation of their rights to free speech, the court ruled.
The NLRB’s attempt to enact the rule—which stated that failure to display the poster could be considered an unfair labor practice—was met by a legal challenge by the National Association of Manufacturers and a number of other business organizations. The National Restaurant Association participated in the lawsuit as part of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. Last March, a federal court ruled that the NLRB could require employers to display the poster, but could not label an employer’s refusal to do so as an unfair labor practice. Business organizations, including the NRA, appealed the ruling that upheld the requirement to display the poster. The mandate has been on hold since April 2012.
“Employers are gratified the court has examined the issue thoroughly and arrived at the logical conclusion that [the NLRB] veered outside its legal authority and an inappropriate rule has been set aside,” Geoffrey Burr, chairman of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, said in a statement. “The court has put the NLRB on notice: it must live within the law. CDW and its allies will continue to monitor this issue and prepare for possible further litigation.”
Prior to the legal challenge, the NRA and more than 30 state restaurant associations had filed comments with the NLRB, voicing their objections to the requirement. In the comments, the NRA called the mandate a tool to make it easier for unions to organize.