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Articles  >  What Management Cannot Legally Do

What Management Cannot Legally Do During a Union Organizing Campaign

- by Labor Experts at Labor Relations Services, Inc.

Memorizing the acronym T.I.P.S. is an easy way to remember what you "CANNOT DO".

T – Threaten: You cannot threaten or imply certain events will occur, if an employee supports a union.

Examples of prohibited threats: Wage cuts, loss of benefits, discharge, demotion, diminished raises, layoffs, closing facility, or refusing to bargain.

I – Interrogation: It is unlawful for you to interrogate or question employees about union activity.

Examples of prohibited interrogation: Questioning employees about their union activities or the union activities of others. Asking which employees have signed authorization cards. Asking employees how they intend to vote. Questioning job applicants about their past union background or asking their opinion about unions.

P – Promise: It is unlawful for you to promise or imply that employees will get wage increases, promotions, better work assignments, or any other benefit, if they oppose a union.

S – Spy: Engaging in the surveillance of union activity to determine which employees are participating in union activities is prohibited.

Examples of what you CANNOT do:

  • Don't discriminate against any employee in the application of employer policy, work assignments, layoff, or discipline because the employee has engaged in union activity.
  • Don't call employees into your office in order to talk about the union.
  • Don't go to employees' homes to talk about the union.
  • Don't threaten or discharge, discipline, or layoff an employee because of his or her activities on behalf of the union.
  • Don't conduct yourself in a way which would indicate to employees that you are watching them to determine whether or not they are participating in union activities.
  • Don't discriminate against employees actively supporting the union by intentionally assigning undesirable work to the pro-union employee.
  • Don't transfer employees prejudicially because of union affiliation.
  • Don't favor non-union employees over employees active on behalf of the union.
  • Don't discipline or penalize employees actively supporting a union for an infraction which non-union employees are permitted to commit without being likewise disciplined.
  • Don't make any work assignment for the purpose of causing an employee who has been active on behalf of the union to quit his or her job.
  • Don't take any action that is intended to impair the status of, or adversely affect an employee's job or pay because of his or her activity on behalf of the union.
  • Don't intentionally assign or transfer employees so those active on behalf of the union are separated from those you believe are not interested in supporting a union.
  • Don't select employees to be laid off with the intention of curbing the union's strength, or to discourage affiliation with the union.
  • Don't ask employees for an expression of their thoughts about a union or its officers.
  • Don't ask employees about the internal affairs of unions, such as meetings, etc. (Note: It is not illegal, if employees tell you information about a union meeting, but you must not ask questions to obtain additional information).
  • Don't make statements that you will not deal with the union.
  • Don't prevent employees from soliciting union memberships during their free time on employer premises, so long as such does not interfere with work being performed by others.

For more information about What Management Cannot Legally Do, and tactics and strategies for your business, contact Labor Relations Services toll free at 1-877-892-1962, or email us at