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Handling a boorish union rep

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in Employment Law,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Q. One of our employees serves as a committee member for a labor union that represents some of our employees. He uses his union position to protect himself from our company’s policy on insubordination. Does management have a right to ban this employee from the property when he conducts labor business because of his combative, disrespectful and intimidating manner? What rights does management have under this circumstance?

A.
As an initial matter, you should check the applicable collective-bargaining agreement. Many agreements allow employees with labor union positions access to company property to conduct union business.

Even so, no employee or union official has a right to act in a threatening or disrespectful manner. Therefore, I would suggest that you speak to the employee and establish guidelines for his behavior during the times when he is conducting union business. You want to be careful that you treat this employee in the same manner that you would treat any nonunion member employee who exhibits similar behavior, or you could risk a claim under the National Labor Relations Act.

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