States Exempt Labor Unions from Stalking, Trespassing Laws

At least four states provide exemptions to anti-staljking laws for labor union officials conducting organizing activities, according to a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Every state in America criminalizes stalking, generally defined as repeated unwanted contact with another individual designed to cause some sort of mental or emotional distress. But Illinois, California, Nevada, and Pennsylvania offer broad exemptions for union officials.

A law in Illinois, for instance, exempts from stalking prohibitions individuals who are engaging in “any controversy concerning wages, salaries, hours, working conditions or benefits . . . the making or maintaining of collective bargaining agreements, and the terms to be included in those agreements.”

Pennsylvania law says that laws against stalking “shall not apply to conduct by a party to a labor dispute.” That could prove troubling for the owners of Philadelphia-based Post Brothers Apartments, who allege that the wife of one of the company’s owners “is routinely followed taking their toddler to pre-school by picketers” involved in a labor dispute.

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