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December 08, 2022    

Employers Held Captive by Mandatory Meeting Imbroglio

This Briefing is brought to you by AHLA’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.
  • December 08, 2022
  • Michael A. Pavlick , K&L Gates LLP

In the midst of a nascent union organizing campaign, a hospital sets up a series of meetings for its registered nurses, and makes attendance mandatory. During the meetings, management speakers explain that they earnestly believe the hospital is a better place to work without a union in place. Is such a meeting legal under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)? For almost 75 years, the answer to that question has been an almost unqualified “Yes,” as such meetings were protected by the NLRA and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. But the Office of the General Counsel (General Counsel) of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has put such meetings (and many other mandatory meetings) in its crosshairs and wants to eliminate them altogether. It not only issued a memorandum asserting that these meetings are unlawful, but it also staked out the same position in litigation before the NLRB. If the General Counsel’s campaign against these meetings proves successful, it would have far reaching implications for employers, both union and non-union, throughout the United States and, during the interim, puts employers in an untenable position.

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