Solicitation and Distribution Policy
Author: Mark Goodwin, LeClairRyan
When to Use This Policy
This policy is meant to manage the solicitation and distribution of information among employees and outsiders, usually in a non-union environment, and to establish guidelines for compliance with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in a completely non-discriminatory manner. A written and published policy is a best practice. It is necessary for the employer to have a written and published policy to set the stage for employer defense of any unfair labor practice charges alleging that the employer discriminated against union supporters engaged in solicitation and distribution.
''Solicitation" and "distribution" are elaborate words for very simple concepts. In the union organizing context, solicitation means communications, usually oral, aimed at persuading an employee to support the union. Distribution refers to the passing out of written or printed materials, such as leaflets and handbills, giving information about the union and containing other campaign propaganda. Generally, solicitation can be distinguished from distribution because of its oral, as opposed to written, form. However, there is one exception - the union authorization card. Even though it is a written document, handing out an authorization card is considered to be solicitation.
The policy should be communicated to employees at the commencement of employment and the employer should make sure that employees sign and acknowledge that they have received the policy. The policy should be referred to whenever there is a question regarding what employees and outsiders should and should not be allowed to do with regard to solicitation and distribution of information. It must be enforced in a completely non-discriminatory manner.