September 22nd, 2011
For many private employers, labor or union concerns have been something “other” businesses or owners have had to deal with. However, a new requirement from the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) will put labor matters on nearly every business owner’s radar. Starting November 14, 2011, virtually all private employers will be required to post notices in their workplaces informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”), including their rights to form and join unions, to bargain collectively through a union chosen by employees over their wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and to take collective action to improve their working conditions. Employers who fail to comply with this rule will risk liability for an unfair labor practice under the Act.
The specific notice and requirements for how and where the notice is to be posted are available at no charge on the NLRB website: www.nlrb.gov (the proposed text of the posting is also provided below). The posting requirements include (i) displaying the 11” x 17” poster in the workplace, and (ii) electronically posting the Board-mandated notice on any intranet or internet site that the employer uses to communicate rules and policies to employees. Both the physical and electronic notices must be posted “no less prominently than other notices to employees.”
This new rule applies to any employer covered by the Act (generally any business with an annual volume of business in excess of $50,000, other than railroads, airlines and those engaged in agriculture). Additionally, the rule applies even if an employer’s workforce is not currently unionized. There are additional posting requirements for workplaces where at least 20% of the employer’s workers are not proficient in English.
An employer who violates this new posting requirement may be held liable for committing an unfair labor practice, exposing the employer to an NLRB cease-and-desist order as well as other unspecified “additional remedies.”
If you would like more information about this new posting requirement, please go to our contact page and email, or telephone one of our attorneys at (507) 288-5440.
*** Proposed Text for the Mandatory Posting ***
EMPLOYEE RIGHTS UNDER THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) guarantees the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively with their employers, and to engage in other protected concerted activity or to refrain from engaging in any of the above activity. Employees covered by the NLRA are protected from certain types of employer and union misconduct. This Notice gives you general information about your rights, and about the obligations of employers and unions under the NLRA. Contact the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Federal agency that investigates and resolves complaints under the NLRA, using the contact information supplied below, if you have any questions about specific rights that may apply in your particular workplace.
Under the NLRA, you have the right to:
Organize a union to negotiate with your employer concerning your wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.
Form, join or assist a union.
Bargain collectively through representatives of employees’ own choosing for a contract with your employer setting your wages, benefits, hours, and other working conditions.
Discuss your wages and benefits and other terms and conditions of employment or union organizing with your co-workers or a union.
Take action with one or more co-workers to improve your working conditions by, among other means, raising work-related complaints directly with your employer or with a government agency, and seeking help from a union.
Strike and picket, depending on the purpose or means of the strike or the picketing.
Choose not to do any of these activities, including joining or remaining a member of a union.
Under the NLRA, it is illegal for your employer to:
Prohibit you from talking about or soliciting for a union during non-work time, such as before or after work or during break times; or from distributing union literature during non-work time, in non-work areas, such as parking lots or break rooms.
Question you about your union support or activities in a manner that discourages you from engaging in that activity.
Fire, demote, or transfer you, or reduce your hours or change your shift, or otherwise take adverse action against you, or threaten to take any of these actions, because you join or support a union, or because you engage in concerted activity for mutual aid and protection, or because you choose not to engage in any such activity.
Threaten to close your workplace if workers choose a union to represent them. Show citation box
Promise or grant promotions, pay raises, or other benefits to discourage or encourage union support.
Prohibit you from wearing union hats, buttons, t-shirts, and pins in the workplace except under special circumstances.
Spy on or videotape peaceful union activities and gatherings or pretend to do so.
Under the NLRA, it is illegal for a union or for the union that represents you in bargaining with your employer to:
Threaten or coerce you in order to gain your support for the union.
Refuse to process a grievance because you have criticized union officials or because you are not a member of the union.
Use or maintain discriminatory standards or procedures in making job referrals from a hiring hall.
Cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against you because of your union-related activity.
Take adverse action against you because you have not joined or do not support the union.
If you and your co-workers select a union to act as your collective bargaining representative, your employer and the union are required to bargain in good faith in a genuine effort to reach a written, binding agreement setting your terms and conditions of employment. The union is required to fairly represent you in bargaining and enforcing the agreement.
Illegal conduct will not be permitted. If you believe your rights or the rights of others have been violated, you should contact the NLRB promptly to protect your rights, generally within six months of the unlawful activity. You may inquire about possible violations without your employer or anyone else being informed of the inquiry. Charges may be filed by any person and need not be filed by the employee directly affected by the violation. The NLRB may order an employer to rehire a worker fired in violation of the law and to pay lost wages and benefits, and may order an employer or union to cease violating the law. Employees should seek assistance from the nearest regional NLRB office, which can be found on the Agency’s Web site: http://www.nlrb.gov.
You can also contact the NLRB by calling toll-free: 1-866-667-NLRB (6572) or (TTY) 1-866-315-NLRB (1-866-315-6572) for hearing impaired.
If you do not speak or understand English well, you may obtain a translation of this notice from the NLRB’s Web site or by calling the toll-free numbers listed above.
The National Labor Relations Act covers most private-sector employers. Excluded from coverage under the NLRA are public-sector employees, agricultural and domestic workers, independent contractors, workers employed by a parent or spouse, employees of air and rail carriers covered by the Railway Labor Act, and supervisors (although supervisors that have been discriminated against for refusing to violate the NLRA may be covered).
This is an official Government Notice and must not be defaced by anyone.
September 20th, 2011
In the recent past, mortgage foreclosure laws have seen an array of changes. This year, however, the Minnesota Legislature made very few changes. One change was to increase the redemption period for a reverse mortgage foreclosure to 12 months. The only other change was to clarify the process of evicting a tenant in a foreclosed property. For eviction actions commenced now until December 31, 2012, there is a new notice requirement. Where a tenant is under a lease of any duration, a lawful owner of a foreclosed property must provide that tenant with at least 90 days written notice to vacate the property. When the lease extends more than 90 days beyond the redemption period, the lawful owner must honor the lease for its entire duration (assuming the tenant pays rent and abides by the terms of the lease) AND still provide the 90 day written notice to vacate prior to the lease expiration.
Commencing January 1, 2013, the written notice to vacate must be given two months in advance of the expiration of the redemption period and then the tenant will be allowed to reside in the foreclosed property for one month after the expiration of the redemption period, regardless of the term of the lease.