SW Legal studies in Business

Employers May Control Who Distributes Literature on Company Property
Description Appeals court reversed an NLRB decision ordering an employer to allow unions to distribute union material on company property. The employer has the right to bar union materials from being distributed while allowing charities to distribute their materials.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words Unfair Labor Practice; Solicitation; Distribution of Literature
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Albertson's, a retail grocer, ordered union representatives off of the company property so they could not distribute literature, urging customers to boycott certain products, on Albertson's property. Similarly, the company ordered union organizers off of the company property where they were attempting to obtain authorization cards from employees the union wished to organize. The unions complained to the National Labor Relations Board, which held the company had committed unfair labor practice because it allowed various charitable groups to solicit on company property. Albertson's appealed.

Reversed. The Board's order will not be enforced. A court of appeals gives no deference to the National Labor Relations Board when a decision rests on erroneous legal foundations. As the Supreme Court has noted, the general rule is that "an employer cannot be compelled to allow distribution of union literature by nonemployee organizers on his property." The employer has the right to allow charities to disseminate information on its property while it bars unions from doing the same.

Citation Albertson's Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, 301 F.3d 441 (6th Cir., 2002)

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