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Is it illegal for my employer to force attendance to a mandatory meeting under the guise of job specific EDUCATION?

San Antonio, TX |

Our hospital was recently acquired from Vangaurd to Tenmet? Union organizers came to solicit nurse participation in the Union. I witnessed Organizers not only being chased off public property to hand out flyers by hospital security, but a system wide email was sent out to tell nurses to dress in street clothes so not to be recognized as nursing staff. My chief complaint, & question is...Was it legal for my employer to force me to sign in, and attend a mandatory meeting while calling it "EDUCATION" yet it was all about how horrible the Union is, and how they don't do what they promise...etc.? I had a 12 hour shift to work the night I was called at home to attend this mandatory meeting, and did not appreciate the infringement on my personal time while already required to work, besides lying

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Filed under: Employment Labor unions
Attorney answers 3


It is generally legal for an employer to require employees to come to work when they are not scheduled to do so. Please look at my Avvo guide to at-will employment which may help you understand employment rights in a non-union setting:

The legality of the employer's "captive audience" meeting depends on many factors, some of which are what statements it made during that meeting, whether statements were presented as facts or opinion, whether there were threats or coercive comments, the timing of the meeting, the duration of the meeting, and more.

You may wish to contact the union organizers in private and let them know what happened. Provide as much info as you can regarding the specific statements made. Most unions that engage in organizing drives understand that employers may hold captive audience meetings, and the union organizing your workplace is most likely clued in to this kind of thing. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***


Your employer can call a meeting during work hours to present its anti-union message although there are some things the employer cannot say. You should talk to the union organizers about what happened and what was said.


Generally speaking, yes, this is fine. Union representatives will be able to tell you if the hospital has agreed to some other rule on that matter but be careful not to let either side get you too fired up.