Good v. Bad 'Captive' Meetings At Work
Florida judge says the state can't force workers to attend "woke" anti-bias trainings, while the feds seek to bar employers from holding compulsory anti-union meetings
Here’s the scorecard: Captive anti-union meetings are bad but captive “woke” race trainings are good.
Florida Chief U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker ruled this week that Florida’s Individual Freedom Act (IFA) violates the First Amendment because it “attacks ideas, not conduct.”
The law, derisively dubbed the Stop WOKE Act, prohibits employers from holding mandatory trainings to instruct workers in eight concepts, including that “a person’s moral character’ is “either privileged or oppressed” depending on their “race, color, national origin, or sex.” (The IFA states the concepts can still be discussed provided “such training or discussion is given in an objective manner without endorsement of the concepts.”)
The IFA was championed by Florida’s GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Judge Walker, who was appointed by former Democratic Pres. Barack Obama, issued an injunction preventing the IFA from going into effect until the outcome of a pending lawsuit filed by two small businesses and a company that conducts workplace training.
Meanwhile, NLRB General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo has issued a guidance memo stating employers cannot require workers to attend mandatory anti-union meetings. She said these meetings “inherently involve an unlawful threat that employers will be disciplined or suffer other reprisals if they exercise their protected right not to listen to such speech.” A group of staffing firms filed a federal lawsuit last month, claiming the NLRB is attempting to “silence employer speech in violation of the First Amendment.”
If it is legal for employers to subject workers to “woke” propaganda, what is the justification for saying employers cannot subject workers to anti-union propaganda?
The NLRB guidance, widely touted as a “progressive” measure to eliminate bars to union organizing, is supported by the administration of Democratic Pres. Joe Biden.