POSTING EMPLOYEE RIGHTS UNDER THE NLRA NOW REQUIRED BY DOL ON CERTAIN FEDERAL PROJECTS

Date: June 3rd, 2010

On May 20, 2010, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Final Regulations implementing President Obama’s , requiring contractors and subcontractors to notify their employees of certain rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The Final Regulations require government contractors to (1) post notice of employees’ rights to join a union and engage in union organizing activity; and (2) to include specific language in covered contracts and subcontracts. It is a General Contractor’s responsibility to ensure that specific language regarding notice requirements is included in any applicable subcontract.

Only those government contractors with contracts including the employee notice clause and are worth $100,000 or more, are required to post the Employee Rights Notice at their worksites. For subcontractors, the requirement to post the Employee Rights Notice only applies where their contract includes the employee notice clause and where the contract is worth more than $10,000. The posting requirements do not apply to prime contracts under the Simplified Acquisition Threshold.

The Final Regulations require employers to post the exact notice as prescribed by the DOL. The Notice must appear at the worksite in its unaltered state—it cannot be altered in size, color, or content. For a copy of the Notice and specific posting instructions, please see the DOL website. Even contractors and subcontractors that have posted similar notices in compliance with President Obama”s original Executive Order on this issue should now review those notices to ensure compliance with DOL”s Final Regulation.

Further, where a significant portion of a contractor’s or subcontractor’s workforce is not proficient in English, they must provide the employee notice in languages spoken by employees. The Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) will provide translated copies of the posters upon request.

The Notice enumerates seven employee rights, six of which focus mainly on the employees’ rights under the NLRA to form, join, and support a union and to bargain effective with their employer. The seventh provision discusses the employees” right to NOT engage in union organizing activities, including joining or remaining a member of a union. The Notice also provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct that interferes with those rights and tells employees how they can contact the National Labor Relations Board, who enforces the enumerated rights, with questions or to file complaints.

The Notice must be posted at the worksite, “conspicuously” in and around their plants and offices. Further, contractors and subcontractors must post the notice where other notices to employees about their jobs are posted. If a contractor or subcontractor posts notices electronically to their employees, the Notice must be posted via a link to the OLMS website.

The new requirements go into effect for all affected contractors and subcontractors on June 21, 2010. If you have questions about this new requirement or want to know if it applies to your company, do not hesitate to contact us for a thorough review of your situation.