Appellate court issues emergency injunction barring enforcement of NLRB notice posting rule
On the heels of a ruling from the federal district court in South Carolina invalidating the NLRB’s notice posting rule, the District of Columbia Circuit has issued an emergency injunction blocking enforcement of the rule, pending appeal of a D.C. district court ruling upholding the rule in part. That decision, issued last month, found that the Board had the authority to issue the rule, but it invalidated the rule’s enforcement provisions. (In a ruling issued days later, the district court had declined to grant the injunctive relief that the petitioners obtained April 17.)
The DC Circuit noted that the Board had postponed operation of the ruling during the pendency of the district court proceedings. At that time, the Board had said the postponement was necessary to allow the district court time to consider the legal merits before the rule went into effect. Before the appellate court, however, the Board argued that operation of the rule should not be delayed — a position that the appellate court found to be “in some tension” with the Board’s previous argument.
The appellate court also noted that, given the Board’s suggestion that it might appeal that portion of the district court ruling invalidating the enforcement provisions, the uncertainty about the enforcement of the rule “counsels further in favor of temporarily preserving the status quo.”
The April 13 ruling from the district court in South Carolina striking down the NLRB notice rule factored into the appellate court’s decision to grant injunctive relief. Citing last week’s decision in Chamber of Commerce v NLRB, which held the board lacked authority to promulgate the rule, the appeals court found the plaintiffs satisfied the requirements for an injunction pending the court’s review.
The order enjoining the NLRB rule was immediately praised by one of the parties in the suit, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), which called the controversial rule “a perfect example of how the pro-union board has abandoned its role as a neutral enforcer and arbiter of labor law.”
The rule was to have gone into effect on April 30.
The case number is 12-5068.