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SHRM Statement on Starbucks vs. McKinney Ruling

Emily M. Dickens, SHRM Chief of Staff and Head of Government Affairs, issued the following statement in response to the Starbucks vs. McKinney ruling.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. —Emily M. Dickens, SHRM Chief of Staff and Head of Government Affairs, issued the following statement in response to the Starbucks vs. McKinney ruling:

“Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States delivered a pivotal ruling in the case of Starbucks vs. McKinney, resolving a circuit split and providing much-needed consistency and clarity for businesses, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and lower courts across the country. This decision marks a significant positive development for all parties involved.

At SHRM, we are dedicated to promoting balanced labor relations, ensuring that all parties are fully aware of their rights and obligations under the law. This includes the crucial understanding of how organizations can form a defense against allegations of unfair labor practices. The Supreme Court’s ruling is a step towards leveling the playing field, offering a clearer framework for businesses and employees alike.

The NLRB's stance, which advocated for a more lenient standard than the traditional approach to an injunction, posed workflow disruptions by potentially chilling the ability of business leaders to communicate directly and transparently with their employees and key stakeholders about their organization's culture. The Supreme Court’s decision reaffirms the importance of not creating, through the overuse of legal mechanisms, artificial stopgaps or barriers to allowing open and honest dialogue within organizations, which is essential for maintaining a healthy and productive workplace environment.

SHRM applauds the Supreme Court for providing this clarity and consistency, which will undoubtedly benefit businesses, employees, and the overall landscape of labor relations”.

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