S.C. Chamber of Commerce Sues NLRB to Block Notification Rule

September 20, 2011

COLUMBIA, SC – September 20, 2011 – The South Carolina Chamber ofCommerce, the state’s unified voice of business, and the United StatesChamber of Commerce have filed a lawsuit against the National LaborRelations Board (NLRB) challenging the Board’s new rule requiringbusinesses to post notices explaining employees’ rights to unionize. Thelawsuit alleges that the misguided NLRB rule violates federal labor andregulatory laws as well as the First Amendment. The case, Chamber ofCommerce, et al. v. National Labor Relations Board, et al., is in theU.S. District Court of South Carolina.

“The NLRB’s new rule is just another example of the agency overreaching and overstepping its authority,” said Otis Rawl (pictured left),president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.  “At atime when South Carolina businesses are working to create jobs, this newrule will add unnecessary costs to doing business.”

The lawsuit alleges that the NLRB’s final rule regarding Notification ofEmployee Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act (“NotificationRule”) violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), theAdministrative Procedure Act (APA), the Regulatory Flexibility Act(RFA), and the First Amendment. Significantly, the rule creates a new“unfair labor practice,” exposing businesses to significant and costlyliability for failure to comply. The Rule — which applies to virtuallyall private employers in the United States — becomes effective onNovember 14, 2011.

According to the lawsuit:

  • Nowhere does the NLRA give the NLRB authority to coerce employers topost such notifications, or to impose onerous penalties for those whofail to post the notices.
  • In violation of the APA, the rule arbitrarily and capriciouslyexcludes from the mandatory notice a description of the fundamentalrights of employees to be free of compulsory union membership andcompulsory union dues.   
  • The NLRB violated the RFA by failing to properly assess thesignificant economic impact the rule would have on small businesses.   
  • The rule violates the First Amendment by compelling employers to post the NLRB’s ideological views on unionizing.

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s first statechamber Accredited with Distinction by the U.S. Chamber, is the state’slargest statewide broad-based business and industry trade associationrepresenting more than 18,000 businesses and more than one millionemployees, with 90 percent of membership comprised of small businesses.As the unified voice for business and industry, the Chamber is acatalyst for increasing prosperity and enhancing the state’s globalcompetitiveness in order to improve the quality of life for all SouthCarolinians.