Through an important action that will impact employees nationwide, the National Labor Relations Board has recently implemented a rule that will require most private-sector employers to take steps to notify their employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The rule will require employers to post a brief summary of employer labor law rights at all workplaces beginning on November 14, 2011.
During the rule-making process which led to the new rule, the Board found that in order for employees to be in a position to exercise their rights they must know that those rights exist and that the Board, in turn, exists to protect those rights.
The rule will require employers to post a notice at workplaces advising employees that they have the right to: (1) organize a union, (2) join a union, (3) bargain collectively with the employer, (4) take action with co-workers to improve working conditions, (5) strike and picket, (6) choose not to exercise their rights under the law, and other basic information about the rights that are available to all American workers.
Of course, employer groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, are upset about the new rule.
Is it at all surprising that employers are offended that they are now required to advise their employees of their rights?
After all, the Board noted that some of the comments it received from various employers around the country during the rule-making process showed that those employers were themselves ignorant of employee rights to being with. Some of those comments were: “[i]f my employees want to join a union they need to look for a job in a union company,” “[b]elonging to a union is a privilege and a preference – not a right,” and “[i]f a person so desires to be employed by a union company, they should take their ass to a union company and apply for a union job.”
My personal favorite of all the comments the NLRB received from employers was: “[i]f they don’t like the way I treat them, then go get another job. That is what capitalism is about.”
It’s because of this callous disregard for employee rights, as displayed in the comments received by the Board, that the new rule is necessary.
Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co. L.P.A.