What rights does an employer have when employees strike?

Author: Irene Stavrellis Englert, Englert Legal Consulting, LLC

An employer may take the following actions during a strike:

  • Urge striking employees to return to work, so long as there are no threats of reprisals or promises of benefits;
  • Stop paying striking employees and contributing to their benefits;
  • Deny unemployment compensation benefits to striking employees, provided that state law allows such action;
  • Terminate or discipline striking employees who engage in serious misconduct, such as using violence against non-striking employees or destroying the employer's property;
  • Continue operations by using managerial and supervisory personnel, as well as other employees who are not participating in the strike;
  • Subcontract work on a temporary basis in order to maintain business operations; and
  • Hire temporary and permanent replacement employees during an economic strike to protect and continue business operations.