Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, P.C. - New York City Business Litigation Attorneys

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Recent NLRB Actions - Social Media; Notice of Rights Posting Requirement

by Felicia Ennis

The National Labor Relations Board protects the rights of most private-sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve their wages and working conditions.  In recent days, the NLRB has been actively asserting its jurisdiction to protect the rights of workers to engage in protected activities.  In the first ruling of its kind, an NLRB administrative law judge recently ruled that a nonprofit organization violated the National Labor Relations Act when it unlawfully discharged five employees after they posted comments on Facebook concerning working conditions, including work load and staffing issues.  The judge determined that the employees were engaged in “protected concerted activity” within the meaning of the NLRA.  The use of social media continues to grow in popularity as a means of communication.  Employers should take this opportunity to review their social media policies to ensure compliance with worker rights.

In another matter of significance, the NLRB has issued a Final Rule requiring most private sector employers to notify employees of their rights under the NLRA by posting a notice.  The rule, originally scheduled to take effect on November 14, 2011, is now effective January 31, 2012.  The 11-by-17 notice of rights, which is similar to the one already required by the U.S. Department of Labor for federal contractors, states that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from any of these activities.  The notice of rights will be provided at no charge by your regional NLRB office or can be downloaded from the NLRB’s website.  Employers should familiarize themselves with this new posting requirement and take this opportunity to review their postings of all workplace rights required by federal and state law. 

As always, please feel free to contact Robinson Brog’s Employment group with any questions concerning these or other workplace issues.

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