Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall

PETITIONER:Unite Here Local 355
RESPONDENT:Martin Mulhall, et al.
LOCATION: Mardi Gras Casino

DOCKET NO.: 12-99
DECIDED BY: Roberts Court (2010-2016)

CITATION: 571 US 594 (2013)
GRANTED: Jun 24, 2013
ARGUED: Nov 13, 2013
DECIDED: Dec 10, 2013

Michael R. Dreeben – Deputy Solicitor General, Department of Justice, for the United States as amicus curiae for the petitioners
Richard G. McCracken – for the petitioners
William L. Messenger – for the respondents

Facts of the case

On August 23, 2004, Unite Here Local 355 (UHL) entered an agreement with Mardi Gras Gaming (Mardi Gras), the owner of a casino and dog track in Florida. Under the terms of the agreement, UHL would pay for advertisements to support a gambling ballot initiative that Mardi Gras wanted to pass, and Mardi Gras would facilitate the union organizing Mardi Gras’ workers by providing the union with access to work premises, employee information, and neutrality toward the unionization of their employees. UHL also agreed not to strike, protest, picket or otherwise pressure the company’s business.

Martin Mulhall, a Mardi Gras employee, sued both Mardi Gras, and UHL. He opposed the agreement and argued that it violates the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), which prohibits an employer giving or a union receiving a “thing of value.” The district court dismissed the lawsuit for lack of standing, holding that Mulhall was not injured by UHL merely seeking to represent him. Mulhall appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed and remanded. On remand, the district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. Mulhall appealed again and the Court of Appeals again reversed and remanded.


Does an agreement under which the employer promises to facilitate union organization of its employees, and the union promises not to picket, boycott, or otherwise put pressure on the employer’s business violate the Labor Management Relations Act?

Media for Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – November 13, 2013 in Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – December 10, 2013 in Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall

In case 12-99, Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted.

Justice Breyer has field a dissenting opinion in which Justices Sotomayor and Kagan have joined.