Labor Relations – Unexpected Visitors

The below is intended to give departments guidance on appropriate and effective first response to the unexpected appearance of visitors in the workplace

  1. It is important that you maintain a calm, professional and firm demeanor at all times in dealing with unexpected visitors.
  2. Address unexpected visitor(s) by taking the following actions:
    • Visitor(s) may not be present in restricted/private or non-public areas without permission. They are not to interrupt or disrupt work.
    • Determine if the visitor(s) are in an appropriate visitor area of your department.
    • Ask the visitor(s) for their names and organizational affiliations.
    • Ask the visitor(s) to state their business at your department. (i.e., Why are they there? Is the visit related to department business? With whom do they wish to visit?)
    • Determine if the visit is contrary to WSU policy regarding use of university property (BPPM 20.35) or the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). If so, explain to the visitor(s) why their presence is in conflict with WSU policy or the applicable CBA.
    • If necessary, you can offer a reasonable alternative for the time and place of the visit.
    • If the visitor(s) are there to see an employee, tell the visitor(s) you will inform the employee of the visit. Ask the visitor(s) to leave. Escort them (without physical contact) to an appropriate location.
  3. If the unexpected visitor(s) are Union Representatives, please follow the same actions as you would for any other unexpected visitor, keeping the following additional details in mind:
    • Union representatives functioning in their capacity as the exclusive representative for a bargaining unit employee may have access to employees in appropriate areas on WSU property, as long as the union representative comply with the access provisions as noted in each CBA.
    • In a Union organizing effort, campaigning on employer premises is addressed in WAC 391-25-436 and outlines that even while a notice of election is posted, individuals can only conduct campaigning activities:
      • in public/non-work areas,
      • during non-work time,
      • as long as they do not disrupt operations.
    • Union representatives may not be present in restricted/private or non-public areas without permission. They are not to interrupt or disrupt work.
    • Both the CBAs and WSU policy state that employee rest and meal periods are non-work time for the purposes of union access to employees.
    • Like any non-WSU group, unions may use general purpose meeting rooms after contacting the appropriate scheduling office and abiding by the normal reservation process. Scheduling office information  can be found below:
    • For information on specific rules of unions use of university facilities please refer to the appropriate CBA
  4. If they do not leave, do something inappropriate, or it becomes a security issue, the appropriate University office should be contacted whether it be Human Resource Services or WSU Police or Security departments depending on the situation.

 

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Human Resource Services at 509-335-4521.

 

Washington State University