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eLABORate: D.C. Circuit Court Enjoins Enforcement of NLRB Notice Posting Rule

April 18, 2012

On April 17, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an injunction preventing the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") from enforcing its employee notice posting rule, which had been scheduled to become enforceable on April 30, 2012. See Nat'l Ass'n of Mfrs. v. NLRB, Case No. 12-5068 (D.C. Cir. April 17, 2012). In issuing the injunction, the Circuit Court noted conflicting lower court decisions and held that "[t]he uncertainty about enforcement counsels further in favor of temporarily preserving the status quo while this court resolves all of the issues on the merits."

This ruling means that employers are not required to post an employee rights notice by April 30, 2012 informing employees of their rights to, among other things, organize into unions, engage in collective bargaining, discuss wages, benefits, and working conditions or to refrain from any of these activities.

The injunction preventing enforcement of the NLRB's notice posting rule comes just days after a federal district court in South Carolina held the NLRB lacked authority to issue the rule. See Chamber of Commerce v. NLRB, Case No. 11-cv-2516 (D.S.C. April 13, 2012). The South Carolina district court decision, however, was at odds with the underlying decision of the DC district court that upheld the NLRB's general authority to require the notice posting at issue, and which is being considered by the Circuit Court in DC.  See Nat'l Ass'n of Mfrs. v. NLRB, Case No. 11-1629 (D.D.C. March 2, 2012).

Briefing of the D.C. Circuit appeal is expected to be completed by June 29, 2012 and oral arguments on the NLRB's rule are scheduled for September 2012. Employers should stay tuned for more developments in the coming months.