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Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)

OLMS News

Number: 5-10

May 19, 2010

Final Rule: Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws

On May 20, 2010, the Department of Labor will publish a final rule requiring Federal contractors to provide notice to their employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  .  The NLRA is the primary law governing relations between unions and employers in the private sector, and guarantees the right of employees to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers, and to engage in other protected concerted activity with or without a union, or to refrain from all such activity.  The rule implements Executive Order (E.O.) 13496, which was signed by President Barack Obama on January 30, 2009 (74 FR 6107, February 4, 2009).  The requirement to post this employee notice must be included in every covered Federal contract and subcontract.

Beginning on June 19, 2010*, Federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to post the prescribed employee notice conspicuously in plants and offices where employees covered by the NLRA perform contract-related activity, including all places where notices to employees are customarily posted both physically and electronically.  The notice lists employee rights under the NLRA to form, join, and support a union and to bargain collectively with their employer; provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct that interferes with those rights; and indicates how employees can contact the National Labor Relations Board, the Federal agency that enforces those rights, with questions or complaints.

Under the rule, employees will have the right to file complaints with the Department of Labor about contractors and subcontractors who do not comply with the prescribed posting requirements or who fail to include the posting requirements in their subcontracts.  Contractors that violate the requirements of the regulations may be subject to sanctions, including suspension or cancellation of the contract.

The regulations do not apply to prime contacts under the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, currently set at $100,000, or to subcontracts below $10,000.

Enforcement responsibilities for this regulation are shared by two Department of Labor agencies.  The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is responsible for compliance evaluations, investigation of complaints, and conciliation, and that agency will refer violations to the Office of Labor-Management Standards for enforcement. 

For additional information, please visit the OLMS Web site at: http://www.dol.gov/olms/regs/compliance/EO13496.htm.

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* The June 19, 2010 effective date was posted in error. Because June 19 falls on a Saturday, the effective date is June 21, 2010.

Last Updated: 05-20-10