WASHINGTON -- Back in August, federal regulators issued a rule requiring businesses to hang posters informing employees of their rights to collective bargaining. Deeming the move by the National Labor Relations Board an attack on job creators, business groups promptly went bananas, claiming that such a gift to Big Labor would create unnecessary red tape and stifle job growth.
"Just when we thought we had seen it all from the NLRB, it has reached a new low in its zeal to punish small-business owners," Karen Harned, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business' legal center, said at the time.
But American Rights at Work, a pro-union group advocating for "free choice" in the workplace, has now released a video (above) highlighting what they describe as right-wing "hysteria" over the rule issued by the board. The rule requires that employers hang an 11-by-17-inch notice explaining the National Labor Relations Act, the 76-year-old law that governs unions and collective bargaining. The placards look a lot like the Department of Labor postings that Americans are used to seeing in the workplace.
The video suggests that the new "poster rule" may be less cumbersome and costly than some business groups have claimed.
Nancy Cleeland, an NLRB spokeswoman, told HuffPost that the agency tried to be as accommodating of businesses as possible. In addition to offering free posters, the agency has since pushed back the date of enactment for the rule from Nov. 14 to Jan. 1, 2012, to better allow managers to get their posters prepared. "We've been one of the few agencies that enforce workplace laws that haven't had some kind of posting up," Cleeland explained in August.
In a statement, Kimberly Freeman Brown, executive director of American Rights at Work, said that "studies show that many employees are unaware of their rights under the [labor relations act], which protects both union and non-union workers. Employers, even those who strive to act lawfully, are similarly uninformed. This modest rule simply helps ensure that everyone knows the rules of the road."