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Appeals court blocks rule on union posters

A federal appeals court Tuesday temporarily blocked the National Labor Relations Board from making millions of businesses put up posters informing workers of their right to form a union.

The rule requiring most private employers to display the posters was supposed to take effect April 30, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that can't happen until legal questions are resolved.

The temporary injunction followed a federal judge's ruling in South Carolina last week that the labor board exceeded congressional authority when it approved the poster requirement in 2011. A federal judge in Washington, D.C., had previously found the NLRB rule acceptable but limited how the agency could enforce it.

Business groups have complained the posters are an unfair government effort to promote union organizing. The labor board contends the posters help workers more clearly understand their rights and protections under federal law.

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons called the appeals court's injunction "a positive step in overturning this harmful rule."

"The 'posting requirement' is an unprecedented attempt by the board to assert power and authority it does not possess," Timmons said.

NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce said the board would instruct its regional offices not to apply the poster rule while litigation is pending. He said the board would appeal the adverse South Carolina ruling, as well as the part of the Washington, D.C., ruling that restricts how the rule can be enforced.

"We continue to believe that requiring employers to post this notice is well within the board's authority and that it provides a genuine service to employees who may not otherwise know their rights under our law," Pearce said in a statement.

The NLRB rule requires more than 6 million businesses to post an 11-by-17-inch notice in a prominent location explaining the rights of workers.

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