Crozer-Chester Medical Center v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 18-1640 (3d Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
A union representing healthcare network employees learned that the network was being sold to another entity and that the sale agreement contained information bearing on the terms and conditions of its members’ employment. The union asked for a full copy of the agreement for “effects bargaining.” The employer, asserting that the agreement was confidential and not relevant to collective bargaining, refused to provide any of it. The union filed unfair labor charges with the National Labor Relations Board, which found that at least part of the agreement was relevant and that the employer violated the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 151. The Board ordered the employer to provide a complete, unredacted copy.
The Third Circuit affirmed in part. Substantial evidence supported the Board’s conclusion that the employer violated the NLRA. The duty to bargain in good faith includes the general obligation of an employer to provide information that is needed by the bargaining representative for the proper performance of its duties. The Board abused its broad remedial discretion in ordering the employer to disclose the entire agreement; the Union never established the relevance of the entire agreement. When a union requests relevant, yet confidential information, the Board is required to balance a union’s need for the information against any legitimate and substantial confidentiality interests established by the employer.