As we previously discussed on this blog a few weeks ago, the United States District Court for the D.C. Circuit recently denied the request made by several employer trade groups to temporarily enjoin the NLRB from enforcing the requirement to post a notice to employees describing their right to form and join unions.  Now, on the heels of this victory, the NLRB is at it again.

In another thinly veiled reform supposedly geared towards neutrality, the Board has announced that it will be unveiling in April a new website aimed at informing non-union employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.   The Board is even designing brochures which supposedly will describe real-life examples of protection afforded to employees who discuss terms and conditions of employment in a non-union setting, and which will then provide a referral to the website.

While Board members have commented that they want to make the Board relevant to today’s workforce, it is readily apparent that behind this seemingly balanced aim lies an agenda to expand unionization.  Surely, employees who seek information about protections afforded in a non-union environment will not miss the strongly-implied message that having a union would provide even greater security for them.

Coupled with the Board’s revisions to election rules, due to take effect on April 30 and designed to greatly speed up the election process, the Board’s emphasis on outreach sets the stage for unions to step up organizing.  Now more than ever the onus is on employers to be proactive with their labor relations.  Employers who fail to communicate regularly and effectively with employees will face a substantially increased risk of a petition, followed by a swift and painful election.


“Jack” Merinar is the leader of the firm’s NLRA team. He got his introduction to labor law in the early 1990’s seeking injunctions of picket line misconduct and handling arbitrations. By the mid 1990’s he was advising employers through union campaigns and elections. His experience with campaigns led Jack to develop a focus on advising employers how to avoid campaigns where possible.
» See more articles by John R. Merinar, Jr.
» Read the full biography of John R. Merinar, Jr. at Steptoe & Johnson

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