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NLRB reverses decision on workers’ rights before first contract

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned a 2016 decision on Tuesday that required employers to bargain with a newly certified union before the employer imposes “serious discipline” in the absence of a first contract.

The case involved a group of workers at a rehabilitation and nursing care facility who were suspended, and one worker who was fired, during the negotiations for an initial collective bargaining agreement. The question for the NLRB involved whether the employer violated Sections 8(a)(5) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act by reducing the employees’ payroll hours from 40 hours per week to 37.5 hours per week and disciplining the employees without first providing the union with notice and an opportunity to bargain.

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