In a recent case, the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit enforced an order of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) requiring an employer to reimburse the union for the expenses that the union incurred during collective bargaining negotiations. NLRB v. Ampersand Publishing, 9th Cir., No. 21-71060, 8/11/22. The bargaining negotiations expenses included the legal fees the union paid to outside counsel for consultation during negotiations.
The NLRB found that the employer engaged in bad faith bargaining during the negotiations by, inter alia, making unilateral changes to the terms and conditions of employment of the employees subject of the negotiations and by transferring bargaining unit work out of the unit without notice to the union. The Board found that such conduct constituted aggravated misconduct that justified more than the traditional cease and desist remedy. Accordingly, the Board ordered the employer to reimburse the union for the bargaining expenses it had incurred.
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