Court blocks NLRB’s union poster rule with emergency injunction

A federal court on Tuesday blocked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from issuing a rule that would require employers to post notices explaining workers’ collective bargaining rights.  

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered that an emergency injunction on the rule be granted, pending appeal. The poster rule was set to go into effect on April 30, but will now be delayed until the appeal is decided. 

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace asked for the injunction after U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed their legal challenge last month. 

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“The facts in this case and the law have always been on the side of manufacturers, and we believe that granting an injunction is the appropriate course of action for the  court. The ‘posting requirement’ is an unprecedented attempt by the board to assert power and authority it does not possess,” said Jay Timmons, NAM’s president and CEO, in a statement.

Timmons said the manufacturers’ group will “aggressively pursue” the appeal to overturn the rule.

Other business groups celebrated the injunction.

“For the last several months, [Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)] has vigorously fought NLRB’s politically motivated policies that threaten to paralyze the construction industry in order to benefit the special interests of politically powerful unions,” said Geoff Burr, ABC’s vice president of federal affairs, in a statement. “The NLRB’s notice posting rule is a perfect example of how the pro-union board has abandoned its role as a neutral enforcer and arbiter of labor law.” 

ABC is a member of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.

The injunction comes after U.S. District Judge David Norton ruled Friday that the labor board went beyond its legal authority when issuing the rule. That lawsuit was brought last year by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. 

The NLRB said its regional offices will not implement the rule until the appeal is decided. Further, the labor board will appeal a part of Berman Jackson's ruling that raised questions about the rule's enforcement mechanisms, as well as Norton's ruling that said the agency did not have the legal authority to issue the rule. 

“We continue to believe that requiring employers to post this notice is well within the Board’s authority, and that it provides a genuine service to employees who may not otherwise know their rights under our law," said NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce in a statement.

— This story was updated at 4:15 p.m. with a statement from the NLRB.