Employer’s Misstatements May Not Be Unlawfully Coercive Under the NLRA


In Didlake, Inc., the National Labor Relations Board held that an employer’s statements to employees regarding their dues obligation are not coercive and do not constitute objectionable conduct even if they contain misstatements of the law, provided that the employer did not act in a “deceptive manner.”

During a union organizing campaign, two supervisors misstated the law when they characterized union membership and the payment of dues as a “condition of employment” if the union won a NLRB election. The employer won the election, but the Regional Director found that the employer’s conduct was objectionable and ordered a second election, which the union won.

In reversing the Regional Director, the Board concluded that the employer did not act deceptively, and an employer’s mere misrepresentations regarding a union’s ability to compel membership or enforce the payment of dues do not rise to the level of illegal objectionable conduct. The Board also noted that the employer’s statements were based on the employer’s experience with the same union at another nearby facility. Accordingly, the Board reversed the Regional Director, vacated the results of the second election, and certified the results of the first election won by the employer.