Journal of Law and Policy


Rebecca Gans


Captive audience meetings are one of the most effective tools available to companies fighting union campaigns. This tactic, despite being inherently coercive, is currently legal. In April 2022, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board released a memorandum stating that the Board intends to consider these mandatory meetings illegal, arguing that the right to refrain embraced by the anti-labor Taft-Hartley Act should be applied here in a pro-labor context. While this ban would be a positive shift in policy for labor rights, due to frequent flip-flopping by the Board, it would almost certainly be undone by the next anti-union administration. This Note explores the futility of banning captive audience meetings through agency action in an era of frequent, politicized policy reversals. As these meetings post a direct threat to a worker’s right to choose whether or not to unionize, a solution with more staying power is warranted. In lieu of action by the Board, this Note proposes a legislative ban on captive audience meetings that would not be easily reversed under an administration less friendly to labor.