Monday, June 10, 2013

FSSA - Fire Suppression Systems Association



The NFPA's Conference & Expo is June 10 - 13, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  Click here to view details on the conference and to register.  Stop by and visit us at the FSSA booth on the Trade Show floor. Booth number 1051.


The FSSA Technical Committee met on June 5, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  The minutes from this meeting may be found by clicking  here.

On May 7, 2013, the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. struck down the National Labor Relations Board notice posting rule that would require nearly 6 million employers, the great majority of which are small businesses, to post a workplace notice informing employees of their labor law rights—including the right to form or join a union.  The employer’s failure to post the notice would be an unfair labor practice and expose the company to other sanctions.  Several business organizations, including the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), which NAW helps manage, challenged the rule and its enforcement provisions in the DC federal courts.  The rule was issued on August 25, 2011 and has never gone into effect due to the DC appeals court grant of an emergency injunction to delay the enforcement date until this appeal is decided.  With the issuance of its May 7th decision, the NLRB notice posting rule and related enforcement provisions are nullified, absent any further NLRB appeals or a request for review by the U.S. Supreme Court.  (National Association of Manufacturers, et al. v. NLRB, No. 12-5068).
Rule Violates Employers’ First Amendment Rights
The three judge panel unanimously declared that the NLRB rule violates the First Amendment rights of employers against government compelled speech, by requiring employers to post the NLRB-mandated notice in the workplace.  The U.S. Supreme Court’s “leading First Amendment precedents have established the principle that freedom of speech prohibits the government from telling people what to say,” the court noted.  The rule also violates section 8(c) of the National Labor Relations Act which expressly precludes regulation of speech about unionization so long as the communication does not contain a threat of reprisal or force, or promise of benefit.
In this case, the business associations clearly objected to the message the NLRB has ordered them to publish in the workplace.  The poster is one-sided, favoring unionization, because for example it fails to notify employees of their rights to decertify a union, to refuse to pay dues to a union in a right-to-work state, and to object to payment of dues in excess of the amounts required for representational purposes.  Employers do have a right not to speak, the court held, noting that for example:
“…a company official giving a noncoercive speech to employees describing the disadvantages of unionization does not commit an unfair labor practice if, in his speech, the official neglects to mention the advantages of having a union.”
The court did not decide whether the Board lacked statutory authority to issue the notice posting rule—another legal argument advanced by the business associations.  Since the rule was nullified in its entirety on First Amendment grounds, the decision did not reach this argument.  However, two justices in a concurring opinion held that the rule was not a valid exercise of the Board’s statutory authority to issue regulations that are “necessary” to carry out the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act.
Noel Canning Decision Cited
In its opinion the court also raised the issue as to whether the NLRB had a constitutionally appointed quorum of at least three members when the Board’s notice posting rule was finalized.  In Noel Canning v. NLRB, decided on January 25, 2013, the same appeals court held that a recess appointment to the NLRB is constitutionally valid only if the appointment is made by the President during an intercession recess of the Senate, to fill a vacancy that arose during the same intercession recess.  Although the NLRB lost its validly-appointed quorum on August 27, 2011 when the chairman’s term expired, the court noted the Board did have a valid quorum on August 25, 2011, the date the rule was officially finalized with its filing in the Federal Register Office.  (On April 25, 2013, the NLRB asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the DC appeals court decision in the Noel Canning case.  That petition is pending.)
Appeal Pending in South Carolina Case
A second notice posting case is pending on appeal in the Fourth Circuit federal court of appeals.  In that case the South Carolina district court struck down the NLRB rule, declaring “There is not a single trace of statutory text [in the National Labor Relations Act] that indicates Congress intended for the Board to proactively regulate employers in this manner.” (Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. NLRB).


The FSSA Training program is live!  If you reserved a spot at the forum invoices were emailed in May. For questions regarding the training program or to reserve your space, please contact Vince Mullhausen at FSSA HQ.


The FSSA Education Foundation is now accepting applications for 2013-14 scholarships!  For more information please click here.  The deadline to submit applications is June 17, 2013.



The FSSA 32nd Annual Forum location is confirmed.  Mark your calendar for February 22 - 25, 2014.

Book your hotel reservations now at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort by calling 1-800-815-6397 and just mention the FSSA Room Block.  FSSA has a special group rate of $219/per night.

trade association, drawing members internationally. FSSA is a unique 
blend of designer/installers, manufacturers and suppliers working 
together to share ideas and strategies for the benefit of the fire 
suppression systems industry. FSSA members are dedicated to 
the highest level of safety, reliability and effectiveness of 
special hazards fire suppression.
The mission of FSSA is to promote the use of, and be 
the leading recognized authority on, special hazard
 fire protection systems; employing existing and new
 technologies to safeguard people, high-value assets 
and the environment.

Interested in passing along information on
FSSA to prospective members? FSSA has printed cards proclaiming "WHY Join the FSSA" with information on member benefits. If you would like a stack of cards mailed to you so that you can distribute them to your colleagues, please contact FSSA Headquarters.

Crista LeGrand, CAE, CMP
- Executive Director
Vince Mullhausen - Meetings & Member Services
Donna Liberto - Financial Manager
Jason Dumm - Financial Coordinator
(contact Jason for all membership dues & 
meeting registration payments or invoicing)

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