NFIB Files Lawsuit to Protect Employer Rights

Sues the NLRB Over Posting Requirement Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 19, 2011 — The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has filed a lawsuit challenging a punitive new rule issued two weeks ago by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The “Notice Posting Rule” requires private-sector employers to post a notice in their business informing employees of their right to unionize; failure to do so will constitute an independent “unfair labor practice” that subjects businesses to increased scrutiny, likelihood of investigation and an indefinite expansion of the statute of limitations for filing any other unfair labor practice charge.

“With this latest rule, the NLRB has gone too far, passing a mandate that vastly exceeds its authority—largely at the cost of the small-business community,” said Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “In filing this lawsuit, we are joined by thousands of men and women around the nation who are standing up against the anti-business attitude that is reflected in actions of Washington’s regulators. It is truly a wonder why the government continues to treat job creators as the bad guys.”

Added Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for NFIB, “At best our members see this poster rule as unwelcome meddling by the NLRB and at worst, they see it as naked promotion of the unionization of their small businesses. It’s unnecessary, needlessly provocative and will only serve to create division rather than cooperation between small-business owners and their employees.

“Sadly, the NLRB is no longer an honest broker whose unbiased deliberations serve to facilitate understanding and cooperation between small-business owners and their workers. Instead, it has sloughed off any pretense of objectivity and proudly struts its active bias in favor of Big Labor by promoting the most radical and job-suppressing items on the union bosses’ agenda.”

According to NFIB’s lawsuit, the NLRB’s promulgation of the new rule is a gross overreach of its statutory authority under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Moreover, the rule, which takes effect on November 14, 2011, will impact employers with no history of NLRA violations. According to NFIB’s estimates, the rule will impact up to six million private-sector businesses around the country.

The lawsuit asks the court to set aside the rule and declare that the NLRB’s action violates the NLRA.

NFIB previously argued in its public comments on the proposed rule that in the absence of an election petition or a finding of an unfair labor practice, the NLRB lacks the authority to require employers to post any notice, especially a notice far more detailed than those required when the NLRB’s jurisdiction is properly invoked. Further, small businesses are particularly vulnerable to accidental violations because the regulatory compliance burden most often falls on the small business owner and because small businesses do not have dedicated compliance staff. These arguments are reiterated in the complaint.

Joining the lawsuit are the National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, an employee advocacy group; Mike Sullivan, owner of Southeast Sealing, Inc., located in Conyers, Ga. and John F. Brinson, CEO of Lehigh Valley Racquet & 24-7 Fitness Clubs in Allentown, Pa., both small-business owners and NFIB members.

NFIB is the nation’s leading small-business advocacy organization, representing 350,000 small businesses around the country.

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NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information is available online at


  1. I so deeply love the continued misuse of “job creators.”

    It belies the desperation of the author. Unable to speak honestly, he must resort to lies.

    You know what creates jobs: demand. Nothing else. If there is no market, there is no need for the company.

    Basic economics that escape the Tea Party.

    • kcarson,

      You’re right demand does create jobs. However, what person “goes out on a limb” to start a business, that get this…has to employ people, when they are taxed to death and regulated more and more. Many successful small businesses start small and can’t afford higher taxes and more regulations. I am a small business owner and have been for the past 12 years. I remember barley making payroll and almost closing the door on multiple occasions. We now employ 17 people! People will not invest their money and take risks when there is little or no reward.


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