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Bulletin Board Policy

Among the tools unions utilize in their campaigns to organize workers is the posting of pro-union materials on an employer's bulletin board. A long line of decisions by the National Labor Relations Board and the federal courts holds that an employer violates the National Labor Relations Act if it prohibits a union from posting materials, but allows other types of outside organizations to post materials on its bulletin boards. Thus, employers have grown accustomed to the need to maintain a high level of consistency in their application of policies banning any postings by outside organizations. A recent decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ( with jurisdiction in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin) grants employers significantly more flexibility in their enforcement of no-posting rules. It is important for you to establish a bulletin board policy to protect your company from unwanted advertisement, solicitations or other unfavorable postings. The policy should clearly state that the bulletin boards are to be used for company business only. This policy should be strictly enforced. Do not allow employees to use the bulletin boards to post such items as birthday cards, wedding invitations, and personal items for sale or any outside organizations to post materials on your company bulletin boards. Allowing such postings could hamper you ability to remove or prohibit postings of union organizing materials. A Court of Appeals decision found an employer in violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA (which generally prohibits an employer from interfering with, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of the collective bargaining rights granted by the NLRA) for allowing such postings, even though company policy stated the bulletin boards were to be used only for company business. Many companies use glass covered, lock protected, bulletin boards to protect against violations of company bulletin board policy.

The BizKeys' Design Shop provides more than 100 sample policies that you can edit to meet your company's specific requirements. Helpful tips such as the one shown above are provided to assist in policy development.

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