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Federal Contractors Not Impacted by NLRB-Related Notice Posting Rule Decisions

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May 31, 2013

By Doug Hass

Earlier this month, we reported that the D.C. Circuit rejected the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “notice posting rule” that would have required nearly 6 million employers to conspicuously display the Board’s employee-rights poster.  One significant group of employers remains unaffected by the ongoing litigation surrounding the NLRB’s notice posting rule, however.  Federal contractors and subcontractors have a continuing obligation under the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), 48 C.F.R. 52.222-40, to post a notice very similar to the NLRB’s notice informing their employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

In one of his first acts, President Obama issued Executive Order 13496 in January 2009.  Implemented officially by Department of Labor regulations that took effect in June 2010, President Obama’s Executive Order required the addition of a clause to the overwhelming majority of federal contracts that obligated contracting employers to post an employee-rights notice.  Because the FAR requirement is not based on the NLRB’s statutory authority under the NLRA, but instead on the President’s ability to impose requirements on federal contractors via Executive Order, the D.C. Circuit’s basis for striking down the NLRB’s notice-posting rule would not apply to the similar FAR requirement.

Federal contractors and subcontractors should check their contracts for the FAR clause and continue to follow the FAR’s notice posting requirements.  The Department of Labor also maintains a compliance page that contains a fact sheet regarding federal contractors’ notice posting requirements and links to copies of the employee-rights poster in various languages and sizes.  We will continue to report on any future developments in this area.

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