According to the recent news from the officials, two groups visited your company on the same day: Girl Scouts selling delicious cookies, and a trade union distributing flyers and asking employees.
In Kroger Limited Partnership, 368 NLRB No. 64 NLRB said employers may prevent non-employees from protesting business over employer property while continuing to allow non-protest activities such as requests for charitable donations or civic groups, including the sale of cool cookies for Girl Scouts. In the past, many companies were understandably reluctant to allow any visitor to their property for fear of the heterogeneous application of the no-bid policy. Opening the door to a single visitor meant allowing all visitors, including unions.
Before Kroger, the National Statistics Board (NLRB) disagreed with the federal courts of appeals and viewed the company’s ban on unions on business property while invoking a no-seam policy, while still allowing other visitors, to be discrimination. Historically, this clash and lack of clear guidance has led to labor attorneys advising their frustrated clients to prevent the sale of these cool cookies. Christophe Matthew under the new standard of the NLRB, an employer is discriminating against non-employee related activities only when it treats “like-in nature” activities differently.
At Kroger, a grocery store asked local police to remove union representatives from the parking lot after the union began rallying shoppers to stop using certain Kroger stores during a labor dispute. In response, the union filed an unfair labor practice charge under the National Labor Relations Act.
When a union is wronged and alleges a violation of the NLRA, it is referred to as an unfair labor practice and should be filed with the National Labor Relations Board – the principal implementer of the NLRA. Unfair work practices occur when an employer interferes with, restricts or forces employees to exercise their rights guaranteed by law, including the right to engage in coordinated activity for the purpose of mutual assistance and protection. The NLRA was enacted during the New Deal to protect employees from discrimination when they supported unions in already union workplaces or in initial organizing efforts. In alleging unfair labor practice and discrimination by the grocery store’s allegedly selective application of the Kroger’s no-contact policy, the union cited other visitors permitted to the store: Girl Scouts, the Salvation Army, and groups promoting breast cancer awareness, among others.
It is important to distinguish between allowing one class of visitors – charitable, civic, and commercial groups – versus protests and boycotts for non-employees. The viewpoint of these groups divided the NLRB board and the courts for decades, even before Girl Scouts created the “Cinna-Spins” cookie, an oatmeal and cinnamon cookie that was discontinued after just one year probably because it was a health-conscious treatment with Fewer calories. Now, after the covid-19 and new normal life, the old routine is coming back. What are your views on it? What do you think of laws? Let us know in the comment section below!