A U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, has temporarily blocked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from passing a rule that would require employers to display posters explaining collective bargaining rights.
In September, the proposed "poster rule" was challenged by the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Right to Work Legal Defense, the Education Foundation, and other business lobby groups. They argued that the NLRB’s poster proposal would negatively affect approximately 6 million employers who are otherwise exempt from NLRB regulations.
"The rule, approved by the board last year, would apply to most private-sector companies in the U.S.," the Wall Street Journal reports. The posters inform employees of their "right to join a union and act together to improve wages and working conditions," the report adds.
But their main argument against the poster rule is simple: the NLRB doesn’t have the authority make any such requirements.
“The facts in this case and the law have always been on the side of manufacturers, and we believe that granting an injunction is the appropriate course of action for the Court. The ‘posting requirement’ is an unprecedented attempt by the Board to assert power and authority it does not possess,” National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons told POLITICO in a statement after the injunction was ordered.
Other businesses agreed.
“For the last several months, [Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)] has vigorously fought NLRB’s politically motivated policies that threaten to paralyze the construction industry in order to benefit the special interests of politically powerful unions,” said Geoff Burr, ABC’s vice president of federal affairs, in a statement.
“The NLRB’s notice posting rule is a perfect example of how the pro-union board has abandoned its role as a neutral enforcer and arbiter of labor law.”
The fed court ordered that an emergency injunction on the rule be granted, pending appeal. After the injunction was issued Tuesday, a spokesman for the manufacturers group said they plans to file a full appeal soon.
The NLRB seems somewhat unfazed by the fed court’s decision.
“We continue to believe that requiring employers to post this notice is well within the Board’s authority, and that it provides a genuine service to employees who may not otherwise know their rights under our law,” NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce said Tuesday afternoon.
The poster rule was supposed to take effect on April 30, but the NLRB said it would not implement the rule "pending resolution of the issues before the court," according to the Journal.
The Washington case, filed in September, is "one of two challenges to the NLRB provision, issued on Aug. 30. U.S. District Judge David C. Norton in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 13 ruled the regulator exceeded its authority in promulgating the poster rule, holding in favor of the U.S. and South Carolina Chambers of Commerce," Bloomberg reports.
The National Association of Manufacturers will turn in their briefings to the court on May 15, and the NLRB’s due date for briefings is June 15, according to Politico.