The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has suffered a series of setbacks recently at the hands of federal judges.  In December, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals largely struck down the NLRB’s prohibition on class action waivers in arbitration agreements.  Now, on January 6, 2014, the NLRB announced that it won’t seek Supreme Court review of two U.S. Court of Appeals decisions invalidating its Notice Posting Rule, which would have required most private sector employers to post a notice informing employees of their right to organize. The deadline for seeking Supreme Court review passed January 2.

The legal effect of this “non-event” is that it allows to stand two appellate court decisions that invalidated NLRB’s 2011 adoption of a rule.  In May 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held in National Ass’n of Manufacturers v. NLRB, 717 F.3d 947 (D.C. Cir. 2013) that requiring employers to post the statement of rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) would be inconsistent with Section 8(c) of the act, which essentially gives employers the right to speak freely to their employees so long as the communications aren’t coercive. The Court also held that NLRB lacked authority to promulgate the regulation, because it would have effectively modified the federal statutory time limit for filing unfair labor practice charges. A month later, the Fourth Circuit ruled against the NLRB and sustained a second challenge to the regulation in Chamber of Commerce v. NLRB, 721 F.3d 152 (4th Cir. 2013).Continue Reading NLRB Effectively Scraps Plans (For Now) To Pursue Notice Posting Rule By Deciding Not To Seek Review By U.S. Supreme Court

Once again, federal courts have halted efforts by the current National Labor Relations Board ("the Board") to expand its regulatory reach. Earlier this week, in National Association of Manufacturers v. NLRB, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the Board’s controversial attempt to require virtually all employers to post a notice advising employees about the requirements of the National Labor Relations Act ("the Act") and the sixty years of interpretations of the federal labor laws.

The Board’s notice-posting rule has had a long and contentious history.  The original petition was filed in 1993, but it was not until 2010 when the Board, by then with a majority of members appointed by President Obama, issued a proposed rule.  The final rule was published in August, 2011, and litigation challenging the Board’s authority began almost immediately.  As we have reported before, the Board had only mixed success.  One district court upheld the rule only in part, and another struck down the rule completely.  While those cases were on appeal, the posting requirement was stayed pending completion of judicial review.Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Nixes Board Notice Posting Rule In National Association of Manufacturers v. NLRB

The NLRB’s new posting rule, which would apply to virtually all private sector employers, was scheduled to go in effect on April 30, 2012.  Yesterday, we blogged about a South Carolina federal trial court decision striking down the posting rule.  More good news for employers arrived today, as the United States Court of Appeals for