lockout. 1. An employer’s withholding of work and closing of a business because of a labor

dispute. [Cases: Labor Relations  290. C.J.S. Labor Relations §§ 273–274, 277–278.]

defensive lockout.A lockout that is called to prevent imminent and irreparable financial harm to the company or to protect a legal right. • Defensive lockouts were legal, but the U.S. Supreme Court abolished the distinction between defensive and offensive lockouts in favor of a balancing test. American Ship Bldg. Co. v. NLRB, 380 U.S. 300, 85 S.Ct. 955 (1965).

offensive lockout.A lockout called by management to assert economic pressure on workers and thereby gain a bargaining advantage over a union. • Offensive lockouts were illegal before the U.S. Supreme Court abolished the legal distinction between offensive and defensive lockouts in favor of a balancing test. American Ship Bldg. Co. v. NLRB, 380 U.S. 300, 85 S.Ct. 955 (1965).

2. Loosely, an employee’s refusal to work because the employer unreasonably refuses to abide by an expired employment contract while a new one is being negotiated. Cf. STRIKE; BOYCOTT; PICKETING.
[Blacks Law 8th]