The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its final rule to post Employee Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act. The rule applies to all employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
Most employers are covered by the NLRA. Any employer whose business crosses state lines or communicates across state lines, does business with the government, any foreign country or an Indian tribe is covered. Employers violate the law anytime they prohibit communication or cooperation among employees concerning the terms or conditions of employment.
The vast majority of the more than 7,000 comments objected to the required posting. Among those objections were the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America (Chamber). Each questioned the NLRB’s statutory authority to promulgate or enforce a rule requiring a posting of an individual’s rights.
One change advocated by SHRM was adopted. The original rule required employers to post the notice via e-mail, text message and voice mail or any other communication means available. However, in addition to the physical posting, employers are required to post the notice on employers’ Intranets if the employer posts other workplace policies, such as the Employee Handbook on the Intranet.
Perhaps the most serious objection to the posting is the imbalance of information describing employee rights under the NLRA.
The notice does not equally emphasize the rights of employees who choose not to join or remain a union member. Nor does the notice include any reference to the rights employees give up by choosing to exercise their rights to form a union and collectively bargain.
The way the single statement is written that supports the employees’ right not to join a union may be illegal. It states, Under the NLRA, it is illegal for a union or for the union that represents you in bargaining with your employer to: …Take adverse action against you because you have not joined or do not support the union. In states without right to work laws, an employer’s union agreement may require the employer to terminate any employee who does join the union in 30 days.
The posting is one-sided, but still required by law. Should 20% of the workforce not be proficient in English, translated postings are required. However, employers may post anything they want before any union activity begins. Ice Miller has developed a “Counter Post” to be placed next to the NLRA post which describes other employee rights, such as the right to choose to be union-free; and the right to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of union membership with management.
This posting rule will likely be challenged. Until it is defeated in court, employers have the responsibility to post it with their other legal postings where it is physically visible and if applicable on the company’s Intranet by November 14, 2011.
American Jobs Act of 2011
President Obama announced the proposal to Congress in September. It’s a combination of tax credits and cuts and provisions. The Act prohibits employers from discriminating against those who are unemployed. It includes a “Bridge to Work” voluntary program which allows employers an eight-week trial employment period; designed for people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits in order to receive emergency unemployment compensation.
Tax credits include $4000 for hiring individuals who have been unemployed more than six months. The Wounded Warriors tax credit doubled to $9600 for hiring a veteran who has a service- connected disability and has been unemployed at least six months.
Indiana Leads the Nation in Improper Unemployment Insurance Payment
The most recent statistics from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 show Indiana’s improper payment rate to be 60%, the highest percentage in the nation. The 3-year rate is just over 43%. The causes for improper payment are primarily work search issues (42%) and Employment Service Registration (38%).
Work search issues means there is an inability to validate whether the claimant is meeting the requirement to search for work while collecting benefits. Employment Services Registration refers to the claimant not being registered with the state’s Employment Services or a job bank, as required by the state statute.
Though we lead the nation in error rate, the total amount paid from July 2010 to June 2011 was $950,389,758; far less than many states.