Letting Bureaucrats Define New Crimes

Yet more crap to keep up with as an employer

Today the NLRB released its final rule mandating all private sector employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act to post notices informing employees of their rights under the Act. The final rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on August 30, 2011. Posting of the Employee Rights Notice becomes effective November 14, 2011. Failure to post will be an unfair labor practice....

Failure to post the Notice will constitute an unfair labor practice which may be filed with the NLRB by any person. Further, the failure to post the Notice will be deemed evidence of anti-union animus or motivation where employers are alleged to have interfered, restrained, or coerced or otherwise discriminated against employees to encourage or discourage union membership or activity.

We already spend a thousand bucks a year or so with printing companies that keep us supplied with updated signs for all of our locations.  At some point we are going to have to buy billboards to fit all the stuff we are required to post -- minimum wage notices, NLRB notices, civil rights policies, occupancy permits, sales tax licenses, liquor licenses, egg licenses, cigarette licences, fire inspections, health inspections. Soon I am sure we will have a couple of square feet of Obamacare notices.

  • me

    Makes me wonder if it'd be legal to post a sign referring interested parties to a website with the full and up-to-date information?

  • Rod

    Ever consider moving to Canada? Lots of parkland up here - and even though its another socialist bureaucratic haven (where isn't?), the onerous regulations on this sort of thing don't seem nearly as bad.

  • ErisGuy

    It is in your interest to obey official morality, citizen.

  • Old Soldier

    O B E Y

    What all those signs say if you read them with the "They Live" glasses.

  • jon spencer

    The only time anyone looks at anything on the board where the signs are posted is when there is something for sale or a new joke.

  • marco73

    The gubmint agency that issues the "post" edict requires that the signs be N x N in size, in what font, with multiple languages as they deem necessary, and in a place accessible to all employees. Most small businesses, such as Warren's, use a printing company to expedite changes and keep them up to date.
    Much like using a payroll service to pay employees, there are just too many places to trip up to try and comply on your own.
    I always think it is interesting to go to the back of a large business, such as a Home Depot, to see all their postings. My local HD has two 4x8 panels, completely covered with employees notices and licenses. I am amazed that anyone could keep up with all that, but woe to the employer that fails to post a notice.

  • Hasdrubal

    "Further, the failure to post the Notice will be deemed evidence of anti-union animus or motivation..." I'm no lawyer, but that sounds kind of like a due process violation to me. Or is there no due process in administrative law?

  • caseyboy

    These notice requirements are like the tax laws, too much to read and too complex to be able to comply. You see that way the government always has a gotcha hook to use should they want it. Its not about what is posted on the notice, its about control and intimidation and "official morality".

  • jkoerner

    Interestingly, it appears that the NLRB does not even have the statutory power to issue this requirement:

    http://www.nfib.com/press-media/press-media-item?cmsid=58046

  • Ted Rado

    It is not only the business community that is at risk when they do not know all the rules and laws. I am a law-abiding citizen. However, I'll bet that I have broken the law many times. Example: One can carry a gun in a holster in the National Forests. If the parking area where one starts their hike is outside the limits of the NF, then you either take your gun to the boundary concealed (illegal), or carry it openly (also illegal in most places). Also, if it is hunting season, it may be illegal to carry a gun in the NF. Thus, I could have been arrested many times for technical gun violations, despite my best efforts to comply with the law. There are no doubt many laws and regs in other areas of activity (that I am not even aware of) that I have broken.

    I am sure everyone has broken various laws in similar fashion. The police could therefore pursue and arrest anyone, as we all no doubt have some transgression in our past.

    A friend of mine had a retail business. The number of licenses, forms, rules, etc. required was mind-numbing. I couldn't think of a better way to stifle business owners and reduce economic activity. I would not have the patience to go through that. I wonder how many who might have otherwise started a business feel the same? And yet, the gov is determined to add more crap to our burdens. Are those peope nuts, or what?

  • Bill

    @ Hasdrubal: "Or is there no due process in administrative law?"

    Very little. I once had an employee who was caught stealing equipment. He admitted it, and was fired. He promptly put in for unemployment compensation, which would be charged to us, increasing our tax rate.

    I appealed the grant of unemployment compensation, and in the resulting hearing before an administrative law 'judge', the judge's opening line to me was "Why are you here? You can't win this kind of case."

    I had to appeal to the regular court system, where we did prevail. This was in the peoples republic of California, but it is becoming common elsewhere.

  • Gaunilo

    Not on subject, but in response to Ted Rado, the safe school zone act madness makes it illegal to possess a be withing 1000 feet of any portion of a school premises unless the firearm is both unloaded and in a locked compartment not accessible to the driver, with the glove compartment or center console explicitly excluded.

    Any good ol' boy who puts his 30-30 behind the back seat of the pickup in a typical padded zipper case will commit numerous Federal felonies on just about any conceivable route from his house to the deer lease.

    The fed guys when this was passed assured us that we should not worry, this law was only intended to apply to gang bangers and other undesirables.

    For a fuller description of the real mess we are in, you can look up Harvey A. Silverglate's Three Felonies A Day, which describes the general legal situation.

  • Gaunilo

    Sorry, should have proofed before posting. Corrected:

    Not on subject, but in response to Ted Rado, the safe school zone act madness makes it illegal to possess a firearm within 1000 feet of any portion of a school premises unless the firearm is both unloaded and in a locked compartment not accessible to the driver, with the glove compartment or center console explicitly excluded.

    Any good ol’ boy who puts his 30-30 behind the back seat of the pickup in a typical padded zipper case will commit numerous Federal felonies on just about any conceivable route from his house to the deer lease.

    The fed guys when this was passed assured us that we should not worry, this law was only intended to apply to gang bangers and other undesirables.

    For a fuller description of the real mess we are in, you can look up Harvey A. Silverglate’s Three Felonies A Day, which describes the general legal situation.

  • a_random_guy

    Ok, time for a stupid question: "will be deemed evidence of anti-union animus". Um, so what? In fact, I dislike unions. Decades ago, they were necessary. Today, they are worse than useless - they are one of the prime causes of structural unemployment.

    I have an anti-union animus. The first amendment says that I am entitled to hold - and express my opinion. So - what is the above threat all about?

  • MikeinAppalachia

    I'm not a lawyer, but one advised me that a "finding of anti-union animus" triggers all kind of actions by the NLRB using the "finding" as their lever to open you up to fines, penalties, etc.
    So, you can still (for the moment) hold such an opinion-just don't express it or take any action that can be said to be motivated by such an opinon.
    Latest prominent example is that "finding" triggered the NLRB action toward Boeing's SC plant.

  • frankania

    In the 70's and 80's I ran an electronic sales/repair business. Soon after I added the first couple of employees, I realized the paper-work requirements were agonizing (they are WORSE now, of course)

    One day, I called my technicians together and announced that they were all fired, and that I would employ them now as "sub-contractors" if they liked, giving them the full salaries and commissions--no deductions.

    So then it was up to them if they filled out forms, paid taxes, or whatever. I just got a signed receipt from each one each week for $ received for "technical services."

  • steve

    I think this kind of thing could be labelled protectionism. It is protecting large business from small competitors. Basically, it just increases the overhead required to run a business. It is however subject to economies of scale so it favors large business.

    Whether this is the regulators intent or if the rules are supported by large businesses is not clear to me.

  • http://harries@free.fr blokeinfrance

    This crap has been going on for ever. From memory, here's the start of of 19th (?) century poem:
    "on the first of September, on a Sabbath morn
    I shot a hen pheasant in standing corn..."

    5 violations already...

  • Don

    "egg license"

    Really? You made that one up, right? If you didn't I'm in trouble, we sell eggs from the farm :^).

  • Highway

    When I started working 17 years ago, we had a 4'x8' bulletin board in the office. Approximately 1/8 of it was taken up by government posted notices, with the rest being vacation schedules, client announcements, etc. You know, the kind of things that people would be interested in seeing. Now that same bulletin board overflows with 'official' mandated posters (literally, there are more posters off to the side), with all sorts of stuff that we don't need to see, really ever, but certainly not every day. They're made by some third party, laminated, in whatever required sizes and fonts. Nice business for them, I guess, but it's a stupid unnecessary cost for our company.

  • marco73

    Don, yes, an egg license. Everything Warren listed is a real license/requirement. IIRC, Warren had to purchase an egg license for one of his locations because they sold cartons of eggs in their convenience store.

  • http://herdgadfly.blogspot.com/ gadfly

    The sole Republican on the NLRB, Brian Hayes, dissented from the Order. Member Hayes wrote "... the Board lacks the statutory authority to promulgate or enforce the type of rule which the petitions contemplated and which the proposed rule makes explicit."
    http://www.natlawreview.com/article/all-employers-may-be-required-to-post-nlrb-notice-union-organizing-rights

    I wonder if the NLRB can enforce such crap in Right To Work states -- or if they have enough enforcers to investigate unionist complaints. If I was making a decision that is Warren's to make, I would buy one sign, keep it at corporate headquarters and overnight it to the work site where a complaint was registered. Gosh, didn't the local in-charge manager understand my emailed direction from August 29? He probably just forgot to hang the sign.

  • Smock Puppet, Shadenfreude Expert To The Stars

    >> So then it was up to them if they filled out forms, paid taxes, or whatever. I just got a signed receipt from each one each week for $ received for “technical services.”

    They now get you on this one, though, if you provide them with a "workplace". That is, if you have an office they work at, and they have a desk they sit at, that kind of thing.

    Generally won't get you crap unless one of your "subcontractors" gets in hot water over non-payment of taxes or some such, and then is sh**heel enough to rat you out to them and describe what you're doing. Then they'll go after -you-, with your seizable assets, rather than the slob who wasn't paying them their danegeld.

    So, to avoid that, they have to work elsewhere (i.e., off-site), or at least not in a regular place in any way.

  • Smock Puppet, Shadenfreude Expert To The Stars

    This dates back to at least sometime in the mid-80s, when I first encountered it:

    "Under any conditions, anywhere, whatever you are doing, there is some
    ordinance under which you can be booked."

    - Robert D. Sprecht,RAND CORP. -

  • Smock Puppet, Shadenfreude Expert To The Stars

    Anyone besides me recall when the phrase "Don't make a Federal Case out if it!?!" actually meant something?

    Nowadays, you pick a booger and fling it on the ground in the woods, there's probably a federal law you can be charged with and prosecuted under.

  • Smock Puppet, Shadenfreude Expert To The Stars

    The net effects of this #%#$%^#^ @%^$ crap is twofold:

    1) EVERYONE loses respect for The Law. If you cannot help but violate it, then why try overmuch to obey it?

    2) It provides ENORMOUS power to the petty bureacrat or official, who can choose to pay attention to the BS violation, or not, as they see fit. This, of course, allows for all sorts of extortion options.

  • Rob

    An unfair labor practice filed by "any person"? So now there will be lawyers going around and trying to extort money from you not to sue because someone tore down the notice?

  • http://oddcitizen.com Martel Firing

    When I was in business with employees I used to post the required government notices where everyone would not fail to see them, above the baseboard around the toilet. Some of them got spattered -- oh, well.

  • Rob

    You better have them all in Spanish!