The Pacific Legal Foundation is suing the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, claiming the board is violating the constitutional property rights of the state’s farmland owners by requiring them to allow union representatives onto to their property to organize workers.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Fresno, is on behalf of Cedar Point Nursery in Siskiyou County and Fowler Packing in Fresno County. The lawsuit was announced Wednesday at the World Ag Expo.
The Pacific Legal Foundation, a legal watchdog group that litigates for limited government and property rights, said the ALRB practice of allowing union representatives onto a farm amounts to trespassing and it should be stopped.
Although the trespass regulation has survived a challenge at the state Supreme Court in 1976, it has never been challenged in federal court as a violation of fundamental property rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.
“This case is about basic protections for everyone who owns property,” said PLF Principal Attorney Joshua P. Thompson. “Nothing is more fundamental for any property owner than being able to keep trespassers out. Bureaucrats can’t cancel that right -- especially not as a favor to organized labor.”
The ALRB could not be reached for comment Thursday.