For second time, appeals court rejects mandatory display
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration’s labor board was rebuffed by a U.S. appeals court for the second time over regulations mandating that companies display pro-union rights posters in their workplaces.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., Friday ruled that the National Labor Relations Board had no legal right under the National Labor Relations Act to impose the requirement. A federal appeals court in Washington last month said the regulation violates employers’ free-speech rights.
“Had Congress intended to grant the NLRB the power to require the posting of employee rights notices, it could have amended the NLRA to do so,” U.S. Circuit Judge Allyson Duncan wrote.
The ruling adds to mounting legal defeats for the board, which has drawn intense criticism for its decisions and appointments from business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.
Dozens of labor board decisions are being challenged in lawsuits after the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled in January that President Barack Obama’s recess appointments to the board were unconstitutional. The NLRB has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review that decision.
A U.S. appeals court in Philadelphia also struck down the poster rule.
Hank Breiteneicher, an NLRB spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail message seeking comment on the court’s opinion.
The poster rule required businesses to provide workers with information on the right to join a union, bargain and picket as well as how to take action to improve working conditions.