Chamber sues NLRB over union poster rule

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has sued the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to block its new regulation that would have employers post notices informing employees of their right to form a union.

The Chamber joins at least two other prominent business groups in Washington — the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Business — that have sued the labor board over the union poster rule. The regulation is one of many actions by the NLRB this year that has led to intense scrutiny from trade associations and Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

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Randy Johnson, the Chamber’s senior vice president of labor, immigration and employee benefits, said the NLRB’s rule on the notices is the latest effort by the board to favor unions over businesses.

“At a time when the private sector is striving to create desperately needed new jobs, it is disappointing to see that the NLRB is imposing new and unnecessary regulations on employers,” Johnson said in a statement. “The latest rule is part of the NLRB’s pattern of tipping the scale in favor of unions, at the expense of employers and employees alike.”

The Chamber contends that the regulation infringes upon employers’ First Amendment rights and violates a number of other laws, including the National Labor Relations Act. The notice rule will become effective on Nov. 14 this year.

A NLRB spokeswoman, Nancy Cleeland, disagreed with the Chamber’s decision to sue the labor board. Cleeland said the labor board has clear rulemaking authority under the National Labor Relations Act to propose the regulation.

“The rule also explains that the posting of this notice, which is available at no charge from the NLRB website, is simply intended to inform employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, just as other workplace posters inform employees of their rights under other laws,” Cleeland said.

The lawsuits come as the NLRB was rebuked by the House last week in legislation that would remove the labor board’s legal authority to order a company to relocate its planned employment. That bill came in response to the NLRB’s complaint against Boeing for allegedly retaliating against striking union workers.