Magazine article HRMagazine

Employer's Organizing Assistance May Be 'Illegal Payment' to Union

Magazine article HRMagazine

Employer's Organizing Assistance May Be 'Illegal Payment' to Union

Article excerpt

Mulhall v. UNITE HERE Local 355, 11th Cir., No. 11-10594 (Jan. 18, 2012).

An agreement that provides for an employer's organizing assistance may constitute an improper payment, in violation of federal law, if it was entered into as a way of improperly influencing a union, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held.

The employer, Mardi Gras Gaming, and the union, UNITE HERE Local 355, executed a cooperation agreement, under which the union promised to lend financial support to a ballot initiative regarding casino gaming. In return, the employer promised to:

* Provide the union with an employee list containing names, job classifications, departments and addresses.

* Provide the union with access to its work premises to organize employees during nonwork hours.

* Remain neutral during the union's efforts to organize the employees.

The parties also agreed that if Mardi Gras recognized the union as the exclusive bargaining agent for its employees, the union would refrain from picketing, boycotting, striking or undertaking any other economic activity against Mardi Gras.

A Mardi Gras employee who opposed the union filed suit in federal court, arguing that the agreement violated Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act. …

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