US Supreme Court Won’t Review Off-Duty Picketing Laws

Currently, employers that want to ban or limit picketing or other demonstrations on their property by off-duty workers must show the activities would be disruptive to their operations.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to rule on whether federal labor law protects off-duty workers who held stationary picket signs on company property which is different from actively walking (picketing) on the employer’s property.

The employees at issue, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers, handed out leaflets and held signs that said, “respect our care” and “fair contract now.” They did not chant, march, or block entrances on the employer’s property. The NLRB and the appellate court both ruled this activity was lawful and the employer committed an unfair labor practice by threatening the workers with discipline and arrest.

Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 843-3041 or emailing him at