Abusive or insulting language made by union officials may constitute robust debate in the following categories:
  • Negotiations
  • Newsletter
  • Representational meetings
  • Bulletin boards
FELTG has not seen a case that involved robust debate toward a contractor (that doesn’t mean there isn’t one), though our guess would be if that person was working on the management side then the same principle would apply: As long as the union rep is wearing his union hat, he can say a lot of things that would otherwise be unacceptable in the workplace.
There are outside limits to robust debate (racist, sexist, or threatening language/actions) but it has to be pretty bad to not be protected.

Have a question? Ask FELTG.


The information presented here is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Contacting FELTG in any way/format does not create the existence of an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

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