A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down a
rule requiring most private sector employers to post a notice informing employees of their right to unionize.
The labor board had originally said that an employer’s failure to post the notice would be considered an unfair labor practice, resulting in penalties, but the circuit court said the board would be acting illegally to punish an employer for expressing a statement or in this case, for failing to post a statement under orders by the labor board.
The labor board’s rule told employers to post a notice, informing workers of their right to form or join a union, to strike, to bargain collectively and to act together to improve working conditions.
The federal circuit court issued an injunction in April 2012, suspending the labor board’s rule, after two lower courts differed on whether the board had overstepped its powers.
The circuit court cited several Supreme Court rulings to reach its decision that employers have a right to disseminate views as well as a right not to disseminate views. The court relied on First Amendment rulings that prohibit the government from telling people what they must say, like telling schoolchildren they must recite the Pledge of Allegiance.