NFIB: NLRB Overreaches its Authority with Punitive New Rule

More than six million businesses to be affected

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 25, 2011 — The same week the Obama Administration announced it was making an effort to scale back burdensome rules on small businesses, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal government’s labor union advocate, demonstrated an unprecedented overreach of its authority today by issuing a punitive new rule requiring all private-sector employers to post a notice in their business informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

“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,” said Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “Not only is the Board blatantly moving beyond its legal authority by issuing this rule, it is unabashedly showing its spite for job creators by setting up a trap for millions of businesses.”

Under the National Labor Relations Act, the NLRB does not have the authority to broadly impose rules, such as the one issued today. The statute only permits the Board to act when a representation petition or unfair labor practice charge is filed.

Furthermore, the rule sets up a “gotcha” situation for millions of businesses who are unaware of the new rule or unable to immediately comply.

The NFIB submitted a statement opposing the rule during a public comment period in February. The comments can be found at the following link:

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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. “Punish small businesses”? Isn’t this stretching things a little bit?

    Is it such an effort to put up a simple sign to inform employees about their rights? What is the big objection? Are unions so strong and effective that employers must fear them?

    This is an example of very unfair and unbalanced reporting.

    • How abut a sign that private business owners can put up that explains that they have the right to close their business if expenses for non-productive “rights” overcome their operating budget?

      There are no “rights” to WORK. It’s a particularly evil way to stoke jealousy and coveting between people. If people are coached they have a “right” to take take take someone else’s things, like their hard-earned profits, then there is no justice or peace. It’s encouraging the absolute worst in human nature at the expense of the best in human nature, steadily pitting people against each other to increasing conflict.

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