U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina Holds That NLRB Notice Posting Rule Is Invalid
On April 13, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina held that the National Labor Relations Board's rule requiring private sector employers to post a notice of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act is invalid, because the NLRB did not have the authority under the NLRA to promulgate the rule. There are now conflicting decisions of U.S. District Courts in two separate jurisdictions regarding the validity of the notice posting rule. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia previously held that the NLRB had the authority to require employers to post the notice, but also found that certain enforcement provisions of the rule were invalid.
In the case filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. District Court Judge noted that the NLRA grants the NLRB authority to promulgate rules that are "necessary to carry out" the provisions of the NLRA. The Judge held that the NLRB failed to demonstrate that the notice posting rule is "necessary" to carry out any provisions of the NLRA.
The decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upholding the validity of the notice posting rule has already been appealed by the plaintiffs to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, and it is likely that the NLRB will appeal the recent decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. If the two Circuit Courts of Appeals reach conflicting decisions, it is possible that the U.S. Supreme Court may eventually address the validity of the NLRB's notice posting rule.
The notice posting rule was scheduled to take effect on April 30, 2012. At this point, it is not clear whether the NLRB will suspend enforcement of the notice posting rule for employers across the nation pending appeal, or whether the NLRB will take the position that enforcement of the rule is suspended only for employers within the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. Stay tuned for further updates on this blog as they become available.