California Labor &
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Labor Attempts to Further Restrict Employers During Rising Union Campaigns
Apr 8, 2022

Labor Attempts to Further Restrict Employers During Rising Union Campaigns

Topics: Union-Management Relations

Earlier this week, National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo released a memo urging Biden’s pro-union Board to declare that employers can no longer hold “captive audience” meetings.  “Captive audience” meetings, which are currently permitted, occur when employers hold mandatory meetings, during working hours, to present facts, opinions, and reasons to vote against forming a union during an election campaign. 

The National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) already limits what employers can say during “captive audience” meetings.  For example, employers cannot legally promise pay increases, threaten to reduce pay or benefits, or ask employees what they think about the union during such meetings.  Despite these limitations, Abruzzo argues that “captive audience” meetings are inherently coercive and violate an employee’s right to “refrain” from any and all union activity under the NLRA.  Unsurprisingly, Abruzzo’s goal to further limit employers’ rights during election campaigns comes just as union organization efforts have seen a dramatic surge.  

Abruzzo is clearly on a mission to expand access to employees for unions while narrowing access for employers.  If her efforts to outlaw “captive audience” meetings are successful, it will be much more difficult for employers to convey their message and concerns about unionization to their employees.  

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For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor in Chief

Sacramento Office Managing Partner and Chair of CDF’s Traditional Labor Law Practice Group. Mark has been practicing labor and employment law in California for thirty years. His practice has a special emphasis on the representation of California employers in union-management relations and handling federal and state court litigation and administrative matters triggered by all types of employment-related disputes. He is also adept at providing creative and practical legal advice to help minimize the risks inherent in employing workers in California. He recently named “Sacramento Lawyer of the Year” in Employment Law-Management for 2021 by Best Lawyers®.
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