As we previously reported here, earlier this year the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the 11th Circuit’s decision that the Labor Management Relations Act’s proscription against providing a union any “thing of value” may prevent employers from entering into agreements to remain neutral during union organizing campaigns. The Supreme Court has now reversed course and ruled that it should not have agreed to hear the appeal.
A decision from the Supreme Court could have validated the use of neutrality agreements and emboldened unions to engage in corporate campaigns to obtain such agreements. Alternatively, the Supreme Court could have significantly restricted the use of neutrality agreements or clarified the circumstances in which they could be lawful. Instead, the decision to dismiss the case leaves in place a circuit split over the application of the Labor Management Relations Act to union neutrality agreements. Accordingly, until the issue reaches the Supreme Court again, employers will face continued uncertainty over whether a neutrality agreement will stand and whether entering into a neutrality agreement could subject them to civil or criminal liability.