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A federal appeals court says the National Labor Relations Board cannot require employers to post a notice detailing workers' organizing rights under the National Labor Relations Act, as it attempted to do in 2011.
Judge A. Raymond Randolph, who wrote the decision for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, suggested the rule was a clear violation of free speech rights because the government “selected the message and ordered its citizens to convey that message.”
That is some sweeping logic there. As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka responded to the decision in a statement:
In today’s workplace, employers are required to display posters explaining wage and hour rights, health and safety and discrimination laws, even emergency escape routes. The D.C. Circuit ruling suggests that courts should strike down hundreds of notice requirements, not only those that inform workers about their rights and warn them of hazards, but also those on cigarette packages, in home mortgages and many other areas.
For those keeping score, the D.C. appeals court was also responsible for the similarly sweeping decision invalidating President Obama's recess appointments to the NLRB, a decision that, if applied to other presidents' recess appointments, would have struck down hundreds in recent decades. While Judge Randolph was not one of the judges involved in that decision, he has authored some real doozies.