6 States Have Captive Audience Laws and Posting Requirements

Image of a captive audience meeting

In 1948, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that employers could hold mandatory meetings on company property during work hours to address matters related to union organizing. Since then, these meetings, called “captive audience” meetings, have become a popular way for employers to express their viewpoint about union organizing and its impact to discourage employees from voting to unionize. These meetings are paid working time, and employees are required to attend or face disciplinary action.

In April 2022, the NLRB’s general counsel issued a memo arguing that captive audience meetings violate the law, but the NLRB has yet to overturn the 1948 decision.

Meanwhile, states are introducing legislation targeted not just at anti-union rhetoric but also any captive audience meeting that shares political or religious views. Six states have laws currently on the books. Several others have legislation pending.

Here is a summary of current state laws governing captive audience meetings and their labor law poster requirements.


On July 1, 2022, Connecticut’s captive audience law became effective, giving employees the “right not to be required to listen to speech.” Employers cannot discipline or threaten to discipline employees for failing to attend an employer-sponsored meeting or to listen or read employer communications if the purpose of those meetings or communications is to share the employer’s opinion on religious or political matters, which are defined broadly and include the decision to join or support political parties, community organizations, and unions.

The law does not require employers to post a notice regarding employee rights.


Maine’s captive audience law went into effect in September 2023. Under the law, employers cannot discipline, fire, threaten, or otherwise penalize employees who refuse to attend or participate in an employer-sponsored meeting that share the employer’s opinion about religious or political matters, including unionization.

Employers must also display a workplace posting that informs employees of their rights no later than October 19, 2023. Download a copy of the poster here.


On May 24, 2023, the governor signed into law a statute prohibiting employers from disciplining, terminating, threatening, or taking other adverse employment actions against employees who decline to attend or participate in employer-sponsored meetings or receive or listen to employer communications that relate to religious or political matters, including unionization. The law went into effect on August 1, 2023.

The law also requires employers to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the law by August 31, 2023. Get a copy of a poster with all required Minnesota labor law notices here.

New Jersey

New Jersey’s captive audience meeting law is slightly narrower than other states. While it prohibits employers from requiring employees to attend meetings related to the employer’s political or religious views, the law narrowly defines “political” to exclude discussions regarding labor unions. Employers can still hold these meetings so long as they inform employees that they may refuse to attend the meetings or accept the communications without penalty.

No posting is required.

New York

On September 6, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law prohibiting employers from discharging, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating against employees or prospective employees for refusing to attend meetings, listen to speeches, or read communications related to the employer’s views on religious or political matters, including whether to support a union.

Employers must post a notice informing employees of their rights under the law in every location where they usually post labor notices. Download a copy of the notice here.


In 2009, Oregon passed a law prohibiting employers from taking adverse actions against employees who refused to attend employer-sponsored meetings or listen to speech or view communications regarding the employer’s political or religious views. The law defines political matters as explicitly including the “decision to join, not join, support, or not support” unions.

Employers must display a notice informing employees of their rights under the law in the place where notices are typically posted. Download a copy of the poster here.

Pending Captive Audience Legislation in Other States

Similar legislation was introduced last year, though not yet passed, in several other states, including Alaska, California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

(Note that a 2009 law prohibiting captive audience meetings was on the books in Wisconsin, but it was later rescinded.)

Steps to Comply With Captive Audience Laws

We will monitor these laws and will update you as additional states add them to their books. In the meantime, employers may want to examine the mandatory nature of meetings that touch on unionization or other political or religious issues. Employers should also check their policies to ensure they prohibit retaliation against employees who refuse to attend these meetings. Finally, employers in affected states must also post appropriate workplace notices.

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