On Friday, Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson approved the union-dominated National Labor Relations Board's mandate on nearly all private-sector companies to post so-called "union rights posters." Additionally, Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, declined to hear a challenge to Obama's recent NLRB appointments.
In the union rights poster ruling, Berman Jackson ruled that the NLRB did not exceed its statutory authority to require private-sector employers that fall within the scope of the NLRB to post notices to employees advising them of their right to unionize. This means that most companies with two or more employees (outside of the airline or railroad industries) will be required to post the union rights posters (see PDF copy here) on April 30, 2012.
In a small bone threw to employers, Jackson did rule, according to the Hill, that the failure to post a notice would not be an automatic Unfair Labor Practice, as the NLRB originally proposed in its ruling:
She did rule, however, that the NLRB cannot “make a blanket advance determination that a failure to post [the notice] will always constitute an unfair labor practice,” though it can be considered in individual cases.
In a press release, the National Federation of Independent Business stated:
“We are pleased that the court has recognized that the Board far exceeded its statutory authority in attempting to take punitive enforcement measures against small-business owners who failed to comply with the poster rule,” said Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “But in ruling that the NLRB does not possess the authority to enforce the poster rule as an unfair labor practice only, it is essentially handing the small-business community a quarter of a loaf. Among other things we are concerned that this decision will encourage frivolous lawsuits by unions against small-business owners who refuse to comply. We believe the court did not go far enough by failing to determine that the NLRB does not have rulemaking authority, in denying our First Amendment claim, and in denying our challenge to the alleged recess appointments. NFIB plans to appeal the decision in part.”
Separately, Berman Jackson refused to consider a challenge to the consitutionality of Barack Obama's controversial appointments to the NLRB:
In a separate ruling, Berman Jackson declined to consider a challenge to President Barack Obama's recess appointment of three labor board members in January. Business groups had argued the appointments were unconstitutional, saying the Senate was not technically in recess when Obama acted.
According to her bio, Barack Obama appointed Berman Jackson to the bench in March 2011.
“Socialism has no place in the hearts of those who would secure the fight for freedom and preserve democracy.” Samuel Gompers, American Federation of Labor, 1918
Cross-posted at LaborUnionReport.com