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Employer May Not Unilaterally Change Labor Policies During Collective Bargaining
Description Appeals court affirmed NLRB bad faith finding against an employer who changed a labor policy during collective bargaining proceedings to one less favorable to its employees than its previous policy. Such changes in labor policy are bad faith unless a complete impasse in bargaining has occurred.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words Collective Bargaining; Unilateral Policy
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts A union won a certification campaign and began collective bargaining with the employer. During more than a year of negotiations, the employer proposed an attendance policy more strict than its previous policy. The union opposed the policy. As negotiations drug on, the employed declared an impasse and put the policy in effect and fired some workers for being in violation of it. The NLRB held that while the parties were deadlocked in their bargaining, they were not at an overall impasse so the employer could not make changes in its labor policies. The employer appealed.
Decision Affirmed. An employer cannot unilaterally implement a policy after declaring an impasse in bargaining. The parties were deadlocked on various issues, but there was no overall impasse. If there is no deadlock in collective bargaining, the employer may not make a change in the terms and conditions of employment unilaterally. The employer's action was in bad faith. The previous attendance policy will be reinstated and the fired workers will be rehired with backpay.
Citation Duffy Tool & Stamping, LLC v. NLRB, 233 F.3d 995 (7th Cir., 2000)

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