Employer Must Continue Union Dues Check Off After CBA Expires

Sherman & Howard L.L.C.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is continuing its drive to overturn well-established legal precedent that it considers to be unfavorable to unions and employees.  On December 12, 2012, the NLRB held that after a collective bargaining agreement expires, the employer must continue to check off (deduct) union dues from employees' wages and to forward those dues to the union.[1] The obligation to forward deducted dues payments to the union now continues until the employer and the union either reach a successor agreement or reach impasse.  In reaching this decision, the Board overturned 50 years of precedent.  Ever since the NLRB's 1962 decision in the Bethlehem Steel case,[2] employers have been free to stop forwarding members' dues to the union when the collective bargaining agreement expired.  Now, saying that the Board "has never provided a coherent explanation for this [former] rule," the NLRB is keeping the money flowing.  This ruling will allow unions to prolong contract negotiations further than they might otherwise, knowing that the members' dues will continue to arrive every payday.

[1]WKYC-TV, 359 NLRB No. 30 (2012). 

[2] Bethlehem Steel, 136 NLRB 1500 (1962).


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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