During a recent conference at New York University, NLRB General Counsel, Peter Robb, hinted at the forthcoming restoration of more than fifty years of precedent allowing employers to cease withholding union dues after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement containing the so-called “dues check-off” provision.
As reported by Law360, Robb referred to the 2015 Obama-era decision overturning that precedent as “misguided,” and stated further: “I think unless there’s clear language that the dues check-off should continue, it shouldn’t.” Prior to that 2015 decision, the Board had, since 1962, consistently held that dues check-off provisions, which implement union security provisions by providing for the automatic deduction of union dues, could be cancelled by employers upon contract expiration. See Bethlehem Steel Co., 136 NLRB 1500 (1962).
The recent statement from the General Counsel indicates his expectation that the Board, now sporting a 3-1 Republican majority, will reverse the Obama-era decision when it issues its ruling. This is one of many cases in which observers expect the Board to restore precedent taking a more balanced approach towards employers.
Speaking of expiring collective bargaining agreements, if you or someone you know has a collective bargaining agreement set to expire this year, please consider attending our upcoming free seminar in Chicago: “Big Ticket Labor Bargaining: Strategies for Employer Success in Collective Bargaining.” During this in-person briefing, we will discuss how to effectively prepare for collective bargaining, with a focus on “big ticket” items such as multiemployer pension, withdrawal liability, and health care. Register here.