Great News for Small Business: NLRB’s Notice Poster Rule is Dead

In case you missed it, the NFIB Legal Center released a statement earlier this week proclaiming final victory in our legal challenge to the National Labor Relation Board’s “Notice Poster Rule.” The rule would have required virtually every employer in the country—including mom-and-pop shops—to prominently display a poster outlining employee “labor rights.” But, we took issue with the idea that the government was seeking to make business owners the mouth-piece of the labor movement. So, we sued.   

Last year we secured a victory in the Federal Court of Appeal for the D.C. Circuit, striking down the Notice Poster Rule. Executive Director Karen Harned said the following, with regard to NLRB’s decision not to seek review in the Supreme Court:

“Today’s announcement is a victory for small-business owners who have been subjected to the illegal actions of a labor board that has consistently acted outside of its authority and failed in its duty as a neutral arbiter. The National Federation of Independent Business has led the charge – as a plaintiff – against the NLRB’s “Notice Posting Rule” decision, because it served as blatant pro-union propaganda. We are pleased the labor board has decided to comply with several court rulings and declined to pursue this troubling agenda.”

From the 1000 foot level, this was a major victory for small business because the decision reinforced the idea that federal agencies have only limited powers—and specifically that NLRB lacked the power to require employers to put up a poster like this. But this was also a very tangible victory for small business owners. For one, they can now decide for themselves whether to put up the Notice Poster. And that’s a big deal, because we saved countless business owners from lawsuits and penalties that they would have faced if the rule had gone into effect, if they had neglected to comply.

For further commentary, check out my previous post dissecting NLRB’s argument in the Court of Appeal.

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About Luke Wake

Luke A. Wake is a senior staff attorney at the NFIB Small Business Legal Center. Wake has particular expertise on environmental and land use issues, and has worked on numerous other constitutional issues and matters of importance to small business owners. He is an ardent defender of private property rights, which he believes are essential to the free enterprise system and the foundation of American liberty. As a strong advocate of individual rights and economic liberties, he has built his career defending small business interests. Since joining the NFIB Legal Center, Wake has focused on a whole host of issues, from employment law matters to regulatory compliance. In addition to serving as a resource for small business owners, Wake remains committed to the Legal Center’s pledge to ensure that the voice of small business is heard in the nation’s courts. He is also working to advance small business interests in law review articles, including publications in the Berkeley Journal of Law & Ecology, the Texas Journal of Law and Politics, and Competition Magazine. See R.S. Radford & Luke A. Wake, Deciphering and Extrapolating: Searching for Sense in Penn Central, 38 Ecology L.Q. 731, 746-747 (2011); Damien M. Schiff, Luke A. Wake, Leveling the Playing Field in David v. Goliath: Remedies to Agency Overreach, 17 Tex. L. Rev. & Pol. 97 (2012); Jarod M. Bona and Luke A. Wake, The Market-Participant Exception to State-Action Immunity From Antitrust Liability, J. of Antitrust and Unfair Competition of the State Bar of Ca., Vol. 23, No. 1, 156 (Spring 2014); James S. Burling and Luke A. Wake, Takings and Torts: The Role of Intention and Foreseeability in Assessing Takings Damages, in Condemnation 101: Making the Complex Simple in Eminent Domain 449-51 (ALI-ABA Committee on Continuing Professional Education eds. 2011). Before joining the Legal Center’s team, Wake completed a prestigious two-year fellowship as an attorney in the Pacific Legal Foundation’s (PLF) College of Public Interest Law. Wake is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland Ohio. He is a member of the California Bar, the District of Columbia Bar, and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. He completed his undergraduate studies at Elon University in North Carolina in 2006 where he focused on political theory and corporate communications.
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