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Employers Can Limit Union Activities in Public Spaces on Their Property

July 12, 2019 / Lisa Nagele-Piazza

Employers can now ban nonemployee union representatives from organizing in public spaces on their property so long as their policies are applied consistently to all nonemployees. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently overturned board precedent, which previously held that nonemployee union representatives could access an employer's public spaces if they weren't disruptive. The decision broadens employers' right to restrict union access to company property," explained David James, an attorney with Nilan Johnson Lewis in Minneapolis. Previously, nonemployee union representatives could enter places where the public was invited, such as restaurants and hospital cafeterias, in privately owned buildings to solicit union support and distribute literature. Under the board's new ruling, employers can limit such access if they don't discriminate against the union and the union has another reasonable way to communicate with employees.