Thursday, January 17, 2013

An Upcoming Supreme Court Section 302 Case?

Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court this week asked for the Solicitor General's views on a cert. petition that raises an LMRA Section 302 issue.  As we've noted before, courts have typically rejected arguments that an employer's neutrality promise to a union constitutes an unlawful provision of something "of value" to a union under Section 302.  However, in Mulhall, the case under review, the 11th Circuit stated that a neutrality agreement could violate Section 302 if the employer intends to improperly influence the union, such as part of a bribery or extortion attempt.

The Court rejected a similar cert. petition in 2009, so it's a bit curious why there's more attention this time around.  It could be simply that Mulhall presents a circuit split.  Or, the Court may be more interested in expanding the traditional scope of Section 302, which could be a big deal for unions.  But, at this point, it's anyone's guess.  Stay tuned.

Hat Tip:  Joshua Glick

-JH

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