Written by Steve Van Beek
As of January 31, 2012 most private sector employers will need to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. While some employers, such as agricultural, airline, and railroad employers, are exempt, credit unions are not specifically exempt and should post the notice by the effective date.
The FAQs are useful. Below are few examples:
- What if my organization is a non-profit? Non-profit organizations are not exempted from the NLRA and are thus required to post the Notice.
- What if I am a federal contractor? Federal contractors already are required by the Department of Labor to post a similar notice of employee rights. A contractor will be regarded as complying with the Board’s Notice posting rule if it posts the Department of Labor’s notice.
- What if I operate a small business? The Board’s jurisdiction extends to most small business owners. However, some very small employers whose annual volume of business is not large enough to have more than a slight effect on interstate commerce are exempted.
There are two different standards (retail and non-retail) that determine if the Board has jurisdiction. The standard is $500,000 for retail businesses and $50,000 for non-retail businesses.
Naturally, the question is which standard applies to credit unions? A resource of the NLRB indicates that either standard could apply to credit unions. Here is what it states:
"1-310 Credit Unions 280-6140
Credit unions (nonprofit corporations engaged in the extension of consumer credit) are within the Board’s jurisdiction. Credit unions’ operations, like those of many financial institutions, have aspects of both retail and nonretail enterprises. To the extent credit unions lend money to or secure deposits from individuals, their operations appear to be retail in nature. To the extent they invest their funds in Treasury notes or commercial ventures, their activities are nonretail in nature. Thus, the impact on commerce of credit union operations may be measured by either the retail or nonretail standard. East Division, Federal Credit Union, 193 NLRB 682 (1971)."
At the end of the day, I don't think either standard provides a useful guide as they are based on volume which is different than an asset threshold. Rather than wade through the details of the exceptions, the easiest path might be to post the notices and move on to the next compliance challenge.
Have a great weekend everyone!