On April 29th the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against the California Nurses Association (CNA) for interfering with and coercing employees in their right not to engage in union activity, as well as for altering employees’ terms and conditions of employment without the employer’s agreement or consent. After negotiating a contract with the Henry Mayo Hospital in California, the CNA, as many unions do once an agreement is reached, told the Hospital it would print copies of the contract. However, the printed version included unilaterally added language on the back cover of the contract about employees’ “Weingarten Rights.” “Weingarten Rights” give unionized employees the right to request union representation during any investigatory interview conducted by an employer. The Hospital filed an unfair labor practice charge against the CNA. Finding reasonable cause to believe the Union violated the National Labor Relations Act, the NLRB’s Regional Office in California issued a complaint against the Union and scheduled a hearing for August 1st.
Employers who have contracts with the CNA or any other National Nurses United (NNU) affiliated union that have had similar language printed on the back of their collective bargaining agreements, without consent, should contact labor counsel for advice as to how to proceed and whether to file an unfair labor practice charge. Employers generally should be cautious when Unions agree to take care of printing the contract, that the printed version accurately represents the parties agreement without unilateral amendments or additions.
Thanks to Steve Porzio for this submission.