Remember that National Labor Relations Board regulation instructing employers to post notices in their workplaces informing workers of their right to organize under the law? I described this regulation last year:
This is just a requirement that employees be informed of their rights. It doesn’t impose costs on employers, restrict their profits, regulate their operations: it just requires that working men and women be informed of their rights.
The business lobby, led by the Chamber of Commerce, has been challenging this regulation in court. Last year, it persuaded a Republican-appointed federal judge to strike it down. Last week, it had more success, persuading an even higher level of the judiciary—a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals—to strike down the regulation
Here are some highlights from an AP report in last week’s Washington Post:
A second federal appeals court has struck down a rule that would have required millions of businesses to put up posters informing workers of their right to form a union.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled Friday that the National Labor Relations Board exceeded its authority when it ordered businesses to display an 11-by-17-inch notice in a prominent location explaining the rights of workers to join a union and bargain collectively to improve wages and working conditions. The posters also made clear that workers have a right not to join a union or be coerced by union officials.
More than 6 million businesses would have been subject to the rule.
The ruling was another blow to the nation’s dwindling labor unions. Last month, another federal appeals court ruled last month that the poster rule violated businesses’ free speech rights.
In that case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups who complained that the regulation violated free speech rights by forcing employers to display labor laws in a way that some believed was too skewed in favor of unionization.
There you have it. The government requiring an employer to hang a poster informing workers of their rights is a violation of the employer’s liberty. Employers requiring employees to attend a rally in support of Mitt Romney—or otherwise instructing employees how to vote in an election—is an exercise of the employer’s liberty.
Seems like someone’s liberty is being left out.