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Supreme Court Developments

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On Friday, May 22, 2009, SHRM and the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business (NFIB) submitted a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case Adcock vs. Freightliner LLC.

SHRM and NFIB believe that Supreme Court review of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s interpretation of section 302 of the Labor-Management Relations Act (LMRA) is necessary to ensure fairness in union organizing campaigns.

Section 302 of the LMRA prohibits an employer from providing any money or other “thing of value” to a labor organization.  It is designed to prohibit corruption of the collective bargaining process by preventing employers from bribing the union and preventing union extortion of employers.  

In Adcock, Freightliner LLC and the United Auto Workers (UAW) signed agreements establishing rules for organizing five plants in North Carolina.  

  • Freightliner agreed to require employees to attend union meetings during work time at the workplace. 

  • The UAW agreed that if recognized as the exclusive bargaining representative, they would not seek severance pay for layoffs or plant closures, and would split increases in benefit costs between the company and the workers, in addition to various other guarantees. 

The Fourth Circuit ruled that Freightliner’s actions to facilitate union organizing by requiring employees to attend union meetings did not violate section 302.

In a brief requesting that the Supreme Court hear the case, SHRM and NFIB argue that the Fourth Circuit’s decision creates a loophole in the statute for the things that unions value most from employers and could improperly encourage unions to extort valuable organizational assistance from employers, violating section 302. 

To read SHRM’s brief, click HERE.



 In This Issue


Supreme Court Developments
New Haven Firefighter Case Likely to be Showcased During Obama Supreme Court Nominee Confirmation Hearing

SHRM Files Brief Asking Supreme Court to Interpret Labor-Management Relations Act 

Domestic Partner Benefits
Legislation Targets Tax Treatment of Health Care Benefits



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The next issue of HR Issues Update will be published on Friday, June 12, 2009.

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