NLRB: Dues Checkoff Once Again To Continue Post-Contract Expiration
October 4, 2022
On September 30, 2022 the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision and order in Valley Hospital Medical Center, Inc., N.L.R.B., Case 28-CA-213783, in which it held that it is unlawful for an employer to cease complying with a dues checkoff provision in a Collective Bargaining Agreement following expiration of the CBA. This ruling overturned the Board’s 2019 ruling in a case of the same name, which we wrote about here, and reinstated its 2015 ruling in its Lincoln Lutheran of Racine decision, which we wrote about here. In reinstating its 2015 ruling, the Board held, “Today the Board definitively resolves this issue by confirming that it is a violation of the Act to unilaterally stop dues checkoff when a contract expires.” This holding ensures that dues deductions will be required to continue to be made following expiration of a CBA, whether or not the Agreement specifically requires it.
Why this decision is important for you: After several years of leaving dues checkoff provisions unprotected during periods of post-expiration status quo, forcing unions to obtain agreements from employers to continue to follow such provisions until agreement on a new CBA was reached, unions now can rest assured that dues checkoff will continue undisturbed without regard to the status of their CBA. Therefore, unions no longer have to devote time during bargaining to negotiating over this issue. However, despite the Board’s claim that with its latest ruling this issue definitively has been resolved, there is nothing stopping a future, pro-employer Board majority from reversing this decision back to its 2019 holding. Therefore, it likely is still worthwhile for unions to seek agreement from employers that dues checkoff provisions will continue to be honored post-expiration in the event that the law changes again before they next return to the bargaining table. That said, for now the law has reverted to a more union-friendly stance of protecting dues checkoff provisions during a period of status quo following a CBA expiration.