Court Rules Fitness Club Doesn’t Have to Hang Union Poster

John Brinson, owner of Lehigh Valley Racquet & Fitness Centers, says he’s relieved the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. ruled Tuesday that he doesn’t have to post instructions on “how to form a union” in his workplace.

The ruling was in favor of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in a case against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding notices on employee rights.

The NFIB challenged the NLRB’s Notice Posting Rule, under which private-sector employers were to be required to hang a poster informing employees of their right to form a union and how to go about doing so. The law was supposed to begin on April 30, 2012, but a court-ordered stay had prevented the rule from going into effect.

Kevin Shivers, the executive state director for the NFIB in Pennsylvania, says the Notice Posting Rule “ran far afield of the statutory authority of the Labor Relations Board.

“The NLRB tried to accomplish a regulatory process that they couldn’t win through the legislative process, in which they would be getting small business employers to act as union organizers and take union-organizing information into the workplace,” says Shivers.

Brinson, a plaintiff in the case, is a long-time member of the NFIB and the owner of the Lehigh Valley Fitness and Racquet Club, located near Allentown, Pennsylvania. He says he was worried posting a sign with instructions on how to organize a union “might cause trouble” in his three locations. He employs just over 200 workers.

After losing to the NLRB in district courts, Brinson says he is thrilled with today’s decision. “It makes me feel happy. It’s a win for business, a win for free markets and a win for individual freedom,” he says.