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May 20, 2019 by

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld a longstanding California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (“ALRB”) rule that gives unions access to an employer’s property after written notice and at specific times (Cedar Point Nursery v. Shiroma).

Two growers challenged the rule after conflicts with the United Farm Workers about the access provisions. In one incident, a grower in Siskiyou County alleged that UFW organizers entered the premises without following the regulations. In another, the UFW alleged that a Fresno grower prevented its organizers from accessing the workplace despite complying with the rules.

The growers claimed that the access provisions of the rule were a per se taking of property in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and an unlawful seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The “takings” clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits the government from taking private property for public use without fair compensation. Here, the court concluded that the regulation was not a taking because allowing organizers onto the property was not a permanent, physical invasion.

The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. Under the Fourth Amendment, a person challenging a seizure must show that it is a meaningful interference with their property and that it was unreasonable. The court concluded that the growers did not meet this standard because the limited entries authorized by the rule did not meaningfully interfere with the growers’ property rights.

The decision may be found here:

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