Union Organizers Can No Longer Use the Public Spaces of an Employer’s Premises


All Employers subject to the NLRA


June 14, 2019


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In UPMC, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) eliminated the “public space” rule that allowed nonemployee union representatives to use the public areas of the property for organizing activities. However, public spaces may be used if the union has no other reasonable way of communicating with employees or the employer allows similar groups access to its public spaces.

There, union organizers met with employees in the employer’s public cafeteria and displayed union paraphernalia. Following a confrontation, police escorted the representatives from the property. The employer equally expelled other nonemployee individuals soliciting for any number of reasons.

Moving forward, employers may maintain no-solicitation policies, provided that unions have other ways of communicating with employees and the policy is consistently enforced. Employers should implement standard procedures for enforcing no-solicitation policies to ensure consistent treatment of nonemployees.

Action Items

  1. Have no-solicitation policies for public areas reviewed for consistency with this ruling.
  2. Have applicable staff trained on approved uses of employer public spaces for consistent application of the policy.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

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