What Are Employers Rights Against Unions?

If you’re facing a union working to organize employees at your company, your first instinct may be to want to stop union organizing immediately. It’s important, however, to know what an employer can and can’t legally do to prevent unionization. You must know what legal employers rights against unions are under the National Labor Relations Act.

employer rights during union organizing

There is a lot of information available about what you CAN’T do during union organizing, but here are many of the employers rights against unions!

Employers Rights Against Unions During Organizing:

  1. Let your employees know the company’s desire to maintain a direct connection with them, without making them feel threatened in any way during union organizing.
  2. Explain to employees that they are free to vote yes or no to unionization but that the company wants to remain union-free.
  3. Be open and transparent about current company policies on solicitation and distribution by making these policies readily available on-site or online.
  4. Enforce lawful distribution and access rules in accordance with the National Labor Relations Act for both pro-union and anti-union representatives.
  5. Discipline any employee or representative that tries to threaten or coerce other employees whether they are pro-union or anti-union.
  6. What can employers say during a union campaign? You can create a safe and clear process for employees to report any types of threatening or coercive behavior.
  7. Provide full details of all current employee benefits offered by the company to avoid any risk of miscommunication. A UnionFree.com website with an interactive benefits calculator can be very useful for this purpose.
  8. Provide salary information for similar companies in your area for employees to compare.
  9. Take proactive measures by training your labor team to understand how union and non-union organizations work.
  10. Provide professional training for all supervisors to ensure everyone understands how management can respond to stop union organizing.
  11. Quickly correct inaccurate information provided by union organizers to your employees as quickly as possible. Use your UnionFree.com website or dedicated social media channels for this purpose.
  12. Educate your employees as early as possible by sharing your company’s union-free philosophy during the new hire orientation process.
  13. Explain to your employees what authorization cards are, what signing them means and the importance of fully understanding their options before signing.
  14. Communicate to employees that signing the authorization card doesn’t necessarily mean that they must vote yes for the union.
  15. Remind employees about the costs of belonging to a union through union dues and potential fines for not obeying union rules.
  16. Explain the negative impacts of joining a union, such as how union members are required to abide by union rules and regulations.
  17. Help employees understand the disadvantages of becoming a union member, including strikes and the requirement to serve on a picket line.
  18. Educate employees about their rights under the National Labor Relations Acts and where to turn for additional resources.
  19. Provide your employees with the real facts about union organizing, collective bargaining, job security and strikes.
  20. Educate your management team on what employers can say during a union campaign and appropriate ways to communicate with employees in regards to unions to avoid charges from the NLRB.
  21. Provide valuable union-specific resources, such as statistics, studies, and union history to ensure that your workforce sees the company as a reliable source of information.
  22. Teach your management team the TIPS and FOE Rules to enable them to educate your workforce while still staying within the NLRB regulations.
  23. Educate yourself about unions and learn how to build a union-free workplace by reading the insightful book, “Proof Positive“.
  24. Create better leaders within the workplace to make the need for a union unnecessary.
  25. Answer employees’ questions regarding employee benefits as quickly, accurately and effectively as possible.
  26. What can employers say during a union campaign? It’s not always about what you say but about being willing to listen to employees grievances and show them that the company is willing to work with them, with or without a union.
  27. Remind employees that collective bargaining doesn’t equate to automatic increases in pay or benefits.
  28. Feel free to share any negative personal experiences about unions to your workforce.
  29. Make sure employees understand that if they are fined by the union for any infraction that the union could take them to court resulting in a possible wage attachment.
  30. Express to your workforce that with or without a union, the company is committed to making it a great place to work!

union authorization card employer rights

Can An Employer Refuse a Union?

In order to avoid an unfair labor practice, or ULP, an employer cannot refuse or restrain employees from engaging in union organizing efforts. Both the employer and the labor organization must agree to communicate, and cannot refuse collective bargaining with the other. Additionally, labor organizations and employers are unable to coerce employees one way or the other. They both must abide by the labor laws set in place by the National Labor Relations Board.

About the Author

Walter Orechwa

Walter is Projections’ CEO and the founder of UnionProof & A Better Leader. As the creator of Union Proof Certification, Walter provides expert advice, highly effective employee communication resources and ongoing learning opportunities for Human Resources and Labor Relations professionals.