The National Labor Relations Board has recently signaled another key change for unionized employers. The Board may be on the verge of significantly expanding employers’ key defense to alleged failure-to-bargain unfair labor practice charges.
Historically, the Board has made it particularly difficult for a unionized employer to adjust or update its operations in a way that affects employees. At default, when a union represents a group of employees, their employer must bargain with that union before taking any action that would change the employees’ working conditions. This duty to bargain potentially can restrict an employer in a broad range of ways, including with respect to decisions that might affect employees’ job duties, shifts, training, standards of conduct, and benefits. The Board has required employers to bargain over changes as minor as the prices of food in vending machines. Continue Reading