For the legal do's and don'ts for employers, we turned to attorney Patricia Trainor, SPHR, managing editor for HR.BLR.com. Trainor also provided specific steps for keeping employees happy and maintaining a non-unionized workforce.
Employers are often confused about what they can legally say to employees about unions, says Trainor. Therefore, they often train supervisors and managers to say nothing. Many experts in union organizing believe that this is a mistake.
Under the NLRA and related case law there are only a few things employers cannot do in terms of communicating about unions with their employees. They can be summed up in the acronym TIPS.
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Beyond those limitations, it is absolutely legal for employers to discuss unions with employees regarding facts, experiences, and their opinions about unions. For example:
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Any one of these practices could be viewed as an "unfair labor practice," which may in turn result in recognition of a union without an elections, as well as fines for your company.
In tomorrow’s Advisor, eight steps to keep your workplace union free, plus an introduction to a program specially designed for the smaller—or even one-person—HR department.
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