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NLRB Adopts New Test for Unilateral Changes to Job Terms (1)

Sept. 10, 2019, 8:10 PMUpdated: Sept. 10, 2019, 10:45 PM

Employers with unionized workforces will gain more leeway to make unilateral changes to employment terms following a federal labor board decision discarding the legal standard it’s used for such changes since the 1940s.

The National Labor Relations Board on Sept. 10 adopted the “contract coverage” standard for determining whether unilateral changes comply with federal labor law. Under that rule, the board will examine the plain language of labor deals to determine whether it allows an employer to make changes without bargaining with the union.

In a 3-1 ruling, the board’s Republican majority abandoned the “clear and unmistakable waiver” standard, which...

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