Mulhall Supreme Court Case: Worker Challenges Backroom Organizing Deal 

Update: On Tuesday, December 10, 2013, the United States Supreme Court announced that it "dismissed as improvidently granted" the union appeal of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling in Mulhall v. UNITE HERE. The order leaves intact a significant victory for National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys and a Florida Mardi Gras Gaming employee in which the appeals court ruled that the company's organizing assistance to union officials could be unlawful "thing[s] of value."

The U.S. Supreme Court announced in late June that it will hear the National Right to Work Foundation's 16th case before the Court: Mulhall v. UNITE HERE.

The case stems from a 2004 deal between UNITE HERE Local 355 and Mardi Gras Gaming in which union officials promised to spend over $100,000 on a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott, or strike against the company. In return, Mardi Gras agreed to give union operatives workers' personal information, grant union organizers access to company facilities during a coercive "card check" campaign, refrain from informing workers about the downsides of unionization, and waive a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether the workers unionized.

In Mulhall, the Court must decide whether the company's organizing assistance is "a thing of value" and thus illegal under federal law.

Barnes & Thornburg's "Labor Relations" blog stated that Mulhall "could end up as the most significant labor law decision the Supreme Court has handed down in a generation."

Below, you'll find links to relevant legal documents, Foundation news releases, and notable media coverage.


Supreme Court Dismisses Union-Backed Petition to Overturn Organizing Case (12/10/2013)

Worker Files Brief in Supreme Court Case Challenging Backroom Union Organizing Deal (09/24/2013)

Supreme Court to Hear National Right to Work Foundation Case Challenging Backroom Union Organizing Deal (06/24/2013)

Supreme Court Asks for Solicitor General's Brief in Backroom Union Organizing Case (01/14/2013)

U.S. Appeals Court Rejects Obama Administration Stance in Case Challenging Backroom Union Deals (05/03/2012)

Appeals Court OKs Worker's Legal Challenge to Backroom Deal between Union, Casino (01/19/2012)

Worker Asks Federal Appeals Court to Overturn Backroom Deal Between Union and Company Officials (02/03/2011)

Circuit Court OKs Federal Lawsuit Aimed at Preventing Union Officials from Launching Coercive "Card Check" Drive (09/16/2010)


Mardi Gras Gaming's brief at the U.S. Supreme Court

Martin Mulhall's "Brief of Respondent" at the U.S. Supreme Court

"Brief of petitioner Unite Here Local 355" filed at the U.S. Supreme Court (Via SCOTUSblog)

Mardi Gras Gaming's "Brief in Opposition" to Petition for writ of certiorari (Via SCOTUSblog)

Brief of respondent Martin Mulhall in support of Petition for writ of certiorari (Via SCOTUSblog)

UNITE HERE Local 355's Petition for writ of certiorari (Via SCOTUSblog)


SCOTUSblog's Mulhall page

"Supreme Court to hear case on union/management collusion," Washington Examiner, 06/24/2013

"Court to referee union-company agreement," Associated Press, 06/24/2013

"Union's Deal With Casino Goes to Supreme Court," Courthouse News Service, 06/24/2013

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