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Defeating the "Single-Site Presumption"

By Howard M. Bloom and Patrick L. Egan
  • July 7, 2001

The larger the size of the bargaining unit, the smaller the union's chance for success in an organizing campaign. As a result, when targeting multi-site employers, unions generally prefer to organize one site at a time. Supporting this strategy is the Labor Board's "single-site presumption" which favors a bargaining unit of employees at one location of an employer to the exclusion of the employer's other sites. However, with advance planning, an employer can position itself to defeat this presumption, even when the locations are many miles apart. For example, if an employer can show the operations of the multiple facilities are integrated or that centralized control of labor relations and personnel exists, the Labor Board may find that employees at a single site are not an appropriate bargaining unit.

Other factors which may defeat the presumptive appropriateness of a single-site unit include a lack of local management autonomy to make key decisions, common day-to-day supervision of employees at the multiple work sites, similarity of skills and responsibilities among the employees at the sites, and contact between and interchange among employees at the sites. Multi-site employers should consider making changes now to enhance their chances of defeating the single-site presumption. It's the "single" most important preventive step a multi-site employer might take to remain union-free.

©2001 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Reproduction of this material in whole or in part is prohibited without the express prior written consent of Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm that built its reputation on providing workplace law representation to management. Founded in 1958, the firm has grown to more than 900 attorneys in major cities nationwide serving clients across a wide range of practices and industries including government relations, healthcare and sports law. More information about Jackson Lewis can be found at www.jacksonlewis.com.

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