OK, OK. I know, we have already put out an e-news alert on the proposed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) poster requirement. And I already did a blog post on the proposed NLRB poster requirement. And now I am doing a newsletter article on the proposed NLRB poster requirement. How come? Well, it could be that I am getting lazy in my old age. Or it could be that we think this is really important. Yeah, I’m going with that one . . . really important.
So, "On December 22, the NLRB published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register. The proposed rule says all employers subject to the NLRA (and that is almost all private employers, regardless of whether your workforce is unionized) will be required to post a notice informing all employees about their rights under the NLRA."
If you'd like to see a copy of the poster, click here. The NLRB is not kidding about this. In fact, the comment period for this proposed rule ended on February 11. So the proposed rule is well on its way to becoming a final rule and you all (and even Warner Norcross & Judd) will have to post this notice when the rule becomes final, likely within a couple of months.
Plus, did you see the recent statement by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis? What statement is that you might ask? This one:
When coupled with existing data showing that union members have access to better health care, retirement and leave benefits, today's numbers make it clear that union jobs are not only good jobs, they are central to restoring our middle class. As workers across the country continue to face lower wages and difficulty finding work due to the recent recession, these numbers demonstrate the pressing need to provide workers with a voice in the workplace and protect their right to organize and bargain collectively.
So it seems the administration is pretty clearly indicating that it is going to try to do through rulemaking what it has been unable to do through legislation. From the Department of Labor to the NLRB, to President Obama himself, this administration is doing whatever it can to make it easier for unions to organize your workforce.
OK, now that we have settled that, what do we do? How are we supposed to handle having to put up this poster? How do we answer the questions that are bound to come up?
No easy answer to that. It is going to be a process. And the process has to start with your supervisors. They need to be trained. You need to make sure they know how to answer the questions that come up. They need to know what TIPS stands for and why FOE is a good thing. And they need to know all of this stuff before a union rep shows up at the door.
So if you are looking for one thing to do this year in HR, this is where you should start. Right here and right now.