This post was contributed by Adam L. Santucci, an Attorney in McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC's Labor & Employment Practice Group in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The National Labor Relations Board recently took the opportunity, in a case dating back to 2011, to update and modernize some of the standard language contained in the remedial notice that the Board requires to be posted as a remedy for unfair labor practices. By way of background, in nearly every case in which the Board finds a violation of the Act, it requires the offending party (union or employer) to post or otherwise furnish a notice to employees setting forth their rights under the Act. The notice will also include information regarding the remedial actions that will be taken by the violating party. In the recent past, the Board has begun to require parties to issue the notice in electronic format, but for the most part the standard language in the notice has not changed.
In Durham School Services, L.P., the Board upheld an ALJ decision reinstating an employee who was allegedly discharged in retaliation for supporting the union during a hotly contested union election. The Board also affirmed the ALJ's finding that the employer engaged in objectionable conduct during the period prior to the election, which warranted the setting aside of the election results which had been in favor of the employer. As a result, the ALJ ordered that a third election be held (the first election was also overturned).
Those of you who have been following the Board's decisions of late were probably not surprised to see that the employer lost on all fronts. That result is not what makes this case of note. What makes it noteworthy is that the Board took the opportunity, at the request of the union, to prospectively modify the standard language it includes in all remedial notices.
In Durham, the Board granted the union's request that it modify its current standard notice to inform employees that a copy of the Board's full decision and order are available on the Board's web site. The notices will now include a link to the decision/order and a QR code that will take employees directly to the Board's web site. The Board found that making the decisions and orders more readily available will facilitate a better understanding of the violations that occurred and why the Board granted the remedies it directed. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the Board's standard notice as the Board continues its unprecedented outreach efforts and continues to attempt to facilitate employees' understanding of the Act.