A grocery store chain and the National Labor Relations Board recently called it quits when they settled a drawn-out battle over a union agent distributing handbills at the grocery stores. The case raised the issue of whether a company that allows access to its property by some organizations, such as charity groups, can then lawfully ban unions. The case bounced between an administrative law judge, the NLRB, and the Seventh Circuit, ultimately resulting in a settlement at the Board level. This case leaves intact the Board’s decision in Sandusky Mall where the Board found that an employer violated the NLRA by barring union access to its property but allowing other individuals and groups to use the property. This is a reminder to employers that they must ban access by all outside organizations – yes, even Girl Scouts selling cookies – in order to lawfully ban union access as well.
Matt Austin is a lawyer based in the Columbus, Ohio office of Roetzel & Andress, LPA who limits his practice to representing employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 723-2010 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.