The comments are in … is an NLRA posting on union rights forthcoming?

Today's post comes from G.Neil’s HR News Weekly:

As we indicated in an earlier post, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was accepting comments through Feb. 22, 2011, on a proposed rule by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The rule would require all private employers to post a notice informing employees of their National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) rights.

Of the more than 4,000 comments received by the OMB a week before the deadline, many of them questioned whether the NLRB has the authority to issue this rule since the NLRA contains no provisions regarding a mandatory posting. A good portion of comments also questioned the actual content of the poster, particularly the fact that it doesn’t address the negative aspects of joining a union.

In related news, a House subcommittee recently held a hearing to examine the direction of the NLRB, including certain decisions and initiatives that may have overstepped the agency’s boundaries. In addition to criticisms against the role that organized labor has played in recent years, a prevailing theme at the hearing was the appropriateness of the proposed NLRA posting. Many of the unfavorable comments echoed those received by the OMB during the 60-day comment period.

After the hearing, NLRB Chairman Wilma Liebman stated:

“The most significant ‘emerging trend’ at the NLRB is that the agency is coming back to life after a long period of dormancy. … We are actively seeking input from practitioners and from the public, by inviting briefs for important cases that are under review, and by using the process of federal rulemaking to seek comments on one potential change intended to inform American employees of their statutory workplace rights.”

Now that the comment period is over, the NLRB has 90 days to review the public comments and issue a final rule. Stay tuned for continued updates on the proposed rule and whether a mandatory Federal poster is released as a result (most likely by this summer).

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