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ARIZONA STATE SENATE

Forty-ninth Legislature, Second Regular Session

 

FACT SHEET FOR S.B. 1242

 

employer protections; labor relations

 

Purpose

 

           Outlines regulations regarding unlawful picketing, trespassory assembly and unlawful mass assembly and establishes a no trespass public notice list.

 

Background

 

Arizona is one of a number of states that has a “right-to-work” provision in its Constitution. Article XXV of the Constitution of Arizona states, “No person shall be denied the opportunity to obtain or retain employment because of non-membership in a labor organization, nor shall the State or any subdivision thereof, or any corporation, individual or association of any kind enter into any agreement, written or oral, which excludes any person from employment or continuation of employment because of nonmembership in a labor organization.” This provision, effective since 1946, prohibits unions from requiring employers to hire only union employees. Arizona statute restates verbatim this language.

 

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) defines the right of most private sector employees, with specific exceptions, to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers through representatives of their own choosing, or not to do so. According to the National Labor Relations Board, which enforces the Act, NLRA permits, under certain conditions, a union and an employer to make a union-security agreement. Such an agreement requires employees to make certain payments to the union in order to retain their jobs, but cannot require employees to be union members. Under a union-security agreement, individuals choosing to be dues-paying nonmembers may be required to pay full initiation fees and dues that unions may expend only on activities related to collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance adjustment.

 

In right-to-work states, unions cannot ask and employers cannot agree to enter into union-security agreements. Employees cannot be required to either join the union or pay the equivalent dues in order to remain employed. Employees who want to join can do so, with all the privileges of membership, such as participation in contract negotiations, ratification of the contract, voting on the decision to strike and voting for leadership. Nonmembers are generally denied those privileges, but are accorded any contractual benefits. In addition, the union has a duty to represent all employees fairly without regard to their membership status.

 

There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund as a result of this legislation.


Provisions

 

Unlawful Picketing, Trespassory Assembly and Unlawful Mass Assembly

 

1.      Makes it unlawful for a labor organization to engage in picketing or to induce others to engage in picketing if the purpose is to coerce or induce an employer or self-employed person to join or contribute to a labor organization.

 

2.      Prohibits a labor organization or group that acts on behalf of employees to engage in trespassory assembly.

 

3.      Prohibits a person to:

a)      hinder or prevent the pursuit of any lawful work or employment by mass assembly, unlawful threats or force.

b)      obstruct or interfere with entrance to or egress from any place of employment, including by intentionally operating a motor vehicle so as to delay, impede or interfere with the ability of persons or vehicles to enter or leave any property.

c)      obstruct or interfere with the free and uninterrupted use of public roads, streets, highways, railways, airports or other means of travel or conveyance.

d)     use language or words threatening to do harm to a person or the person’s real or intangible property or designed to incite fear in any person attempting to enter or leave any property.

e)      assemble other than in a reasonable and peaceful manner.

 

4.      Stipulates that these regulations do not prohibit assembly to the extent that is authorized under the Arizona or federal Constitution or federal law.

 

Defamation

 

5.      Stipulates that a person commits defamation of an employer by doing all of the following:

a) maliciously making a false statement about the employer to a third party without privilege;

b) knowingly, recklessly or negligently disregarding the falsity of the statement; and

c) causing damage to the employer by the false statement.

 

6.      Allows an employer, against whom defamation is directed or who is injured by defamation, to obtain an injunctive relief.

 

7.      Stipulates that the person who commits the defamation is liable to any person injured by the defamation for damages, prejudgment interest, attorney fees, the costs of litigation and punitive damages.  Stipulates that damages can include lost sales and business, lost profits and loss in value of the business.

 

8.      Stipulates that a labor union or a subdivision or local chapter of a labor organization is bound by and liable for the acts of its agents.  Allows the labor union or organization to sue or be sued in its common name.

 


No Trespass Public Notice List

 

9.      Requires a county recorder to establish a no trespass public notice list identifying employers in the county who have established private property rights to their establishment and any related real property in the county.

 

10.  Requires an employer to provide copies of appropriate documents that establish the employer’s private property rights, including the address and legal description of the property to which it has legal control, to the county recorder in order to be included on the no trespass list.

 

11.  Requires the county recorder to list the employer and its address on the no trespass public notice list and maintain a copy of the documents for public inspection if an employer provides the documents needed to be on the list and pays the fee.

 

12.  Requires, effective on January 15, 2011, the county recorder to do the following every January 15 and July 15:

a) publish the no trespass public notice list at least one day a week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.  Stipulates that if there is no such newspaper, the list must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in an adjoining county.

b) publish the list on the county recorder’s website and have the list accessible in the county recorder’s office.

c) provide a copy of the list to every law enforcement agency in the county.

 

13.  Prescribes that publication of the list establishes a presumption that all members of the public have notice of all employers and properties shown on the list.

 

14.  Requires each law enforcement agency to maintain the most recent list received from the county recorder for its use in responding to complaints of unlawful picketing, trespassory assembly or unlawful mass assembly.

 

15.  Allows a responding peace officer to require the employer to provide further documentation to establish the employer’s property rights before requiring any labor organization or individual or groups of individuals acting on employees’ behalf that are engaged in unlawful picketing, trespassory assembly or mass picketing to leave the employer’s property or cease from blocking ingress to or egress from the employer’s property if the property is identified on the list.

 

16.  Prescribes that the list does not affect or limit any exiting property rights if a property is not included on the list.

 

Penalties

 

17.  Makes unlawful picketing, trespassory assembly, unlawful mass assembly, concerted interference with lawful exercise of business activity and engaging in a secondary boycott illegal.  Entitles a person against whom any of the activities is directed or who is injured by the activities to injunctive relief.

 

18.  Stipulates that the person or persons calling or conducting the activities is liable for damages, prejudgment interest, litigation costs and reasonable attorney fees.  Stipulates that damages include lost sales and business, lost profits and loss in value of the business.

 

19.  Prescribes that the person calling or conducting the unlawful activities is liable for punitive damages if the person acted in bad faith or disobeyed a court order, including an injunction.

 

20.  Establishes that a person who unlawfully pickets, trespasses or participates in an unlawful mass assembly is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor and requires that person to pay a fine of at least $200.

 

21.  Establishes that a person who unlawfully pickets, trespasses or participates in an unlawful mass assembly at a property listed on the no trespass public notice list is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor and requires that person to pay a fine of at least $200.

 

Miscellaneous

 

22.  Permits a court to issue a temporary restraining order or injunction for actions involving organized labor disputes that prohibits speech or other activities that are constitutionally protected or otherwise protected by law if unlawful picketing, trespassory assembly, unlawful mass assembly, concerted interference with lawful exercise of business activity and engaging in a secondary boycott, defamation or any actual or threatened misrepresentation, fraud, duress, violence or breach of the peace occur.

 

23.  Prohibits a person to declare or publicize the continued existence of actual or constructive picketing or assembly at a point or directed against a premises if a court of competent jurisdiction has enjoined the continuation of the picketing or assembly at that point or premises.

 

24.  Prohibits an employer from withholding wages past the date specified by an employee in a written revocation of authorization, unless a court orders otherwise.

 

25.  Expands the definition of harassment.

 

26.  Defines concerted interference with lawful exercise of business activity, trespassory assembly, unlawful mass assembly and unlawful picketing.

 

27.  Contains technical and conforming changes.

 

28.  Becomes effective on the general effective date.

 

Prepared by Senate Research

February 5, 2010

JT/ly