Thursday, September 30, 2010
The 11th Circuit recently issued Mulhall v. UNITE HERE, a case addressing whether an anti-union employee has standing to file a Section 302 challenge to a memorandum of understanding between a union and employer. The MOA essentially involved an agreement by the union to support a ballot measure supported by the employer in exchange for the employer's neutrality agreement and promise to voluntarily recognize the union if it obtains a card check majority. The union raised standing objections, which the district agreed with but the 11th Cir. reversed. The court found a "probabilistic harm" to the employees' associational First Amendment interest to work in a nonunion workplace, and rejected the union's objections under the prudential standing doctrine and ripeness.
No matter the standing issue, the employee still has a tough road. Courts have consistently held that these type of agreements are not prohibited by Section 302 (see here and here), so barring some change in that trend, the case is a loser on the merits.
Hat Tip: Dennis Walsh