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Charitable Solicitation

This legislation would allow employers to permit solicitations and distributions by charitable groups -- but not unions -- without committing an unfair labor practice.

February 17, 2000
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Related Topics: Labor Relations
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reserve Charitable Giving Act (S. 929/H.R.2019)

Summary
This legislation (S. 929/H.R. 2019) would amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to allow employers to permit solicitations and distributions by charitable groups -- but not unions -- without committing an unfair labor practice.

The NLRA currently provides that an employer engages in discrimination under Section 8(a)(1) if it denies union access to its premises while allowing similar distribution or solicitation by non-employee entities other than the union. The proposed legislation states, "that in the case of a published, written or posted no solicitation or no access rule, an exception for charitable, eleemosynary, other beneficent purposes shall not be grounds for finding an unfair labor practice."

Status
This bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. A companion bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) and referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Impact
Currently, an employer only may permit non-employee solicitations if it also allows equal access to unions for the purpose of engaging in solicitation or distribution for union purposes. Further, the Circuit Courts and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are not in agreement on the application of the current law to charitable organizations, leaving employers uncertain about what kind of policy is appropriate, and more apt to follow the conservative approach -- to disallow any solicitations or distributions.

The proposed legislation would give employers the opportunity to permit charitable solicitations while continuing to prohibit union solicitation or distribution. The wording of the proposed legislation is not clear, however, on the breadth of interpretation to be given to "other beneficent purposes," leaving it, instead, up to the NLRB and the courts to decide.

To learn more

  • View these bills, enter the bill number -- for example, "H.R. 602" under "Search by bill number."

SOURCE: Hewitt Associates LLC

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