June 28, 2022

Volume XII, Number 179

Advertisement
Advertisement

June 27, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Recent Developments in Federal Union Organizing Law

Employers take note — there is a new NLRB general counsel in town, Jennifer Abruzzo, and she intends to make some changes. Specifically, she issued a recent memo that proposes change to long-standing law about what are called “captive audience meetings.”

What is a captive audience meeting?

For nearly 75 years, employers have had the right to hold mandatory meetings with their employees to explain the company’s view on unions and union organization efforts. These meeting were fine as long as what was said in the meetings was not coercive or restraining and basically was truthful fact or opinion (and was not held within 24 hours of a union election).

What is changing?

Abruzzo’s proposed change would make any mandatory meeting about unions  large or small – unlawful no matter what was said. The change is premised on the belief that meetings like this are coercive by their very nature. If employees could not refuse to come to the meeting, an NLRB charge alleging a legal violation could be filed.

Takeaways

Apparently, Abruzzo intends to direct the NLRB offices to pursue such charges even though the law has not changed. This could cause expense and distraction to employers even though no law has been broken. So, be aware that these captive audience meetings are under scrutiny, and plan wisely when considering holding one about unions until this current new challenge works its way through the agency and the courts.

© 2022 Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 109
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

John Hargrove Employment Lawyer Bradley
Partner

John Hargrove is a partner in the Birmingham office in the Labor and Employment and Construction and Procurement Practice Groups. He is chair of the Labor and Employment Group and is a Fellow in the American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He also is listed in Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, and Alabama Super Lawyers.

John regularly represents public and private companies in mining, construction, manufacturing, medical, communications and warehousing industries, among others. He also represents...

205.521.8343
Anne R. Yuengert Employment Attorney Bradley Birmingham
Partner

Anne Yuengert works with clients to manage their employees, including conducting workplace investigations of harassment or theft, training employees and supervisors, consulting on reductions in force and severance agreements, drafting employment agreements (including enforceable noncompetes) and handbooks, assessing reasonable accommodations for disabilities, and working through issues surrounding FMLA and USERRA leave. When preventive measures are not enough, she handles EEOC charges, OFCCP and DOL complaints and investigations, and has handled cases before arbitrators...

205-521-8362
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement