NLRB Recognition Bar Extends For One Year from Date of First Bargaining Session, not Recognition

In Americold Logistics, LLC, 362 NLRB No. 58 (2015), the National Labor Relations Board clarified its “recognition bar” rule.

Americold Logistics voluntarily recognized the Union in question through a card-check. It took some time for the parties to get the bargaining table. Then, just over one year after the Union was voluntarily recognized, an employee filed a petition for decertification with the NLRB.

Under the recognition bar, when an employer voluntarily recognizes a Union, the Union’s majority status cannot be challenged for a “reasonable” period of time. Under a prior NLRB decision, the reasonable period had been defined as not less than “6 months after the parties’ first bargaining session and no more than 1 year.”

In Americold Logistics, the Board clarified that the maximum period of one year is measured from the date of the first bargaining session, not the date of voluntary recognition. In other words, when a Union is voluntarily recognized by an employer, its majority status may not be challenged for up to one year after the parties’ first bargaining session. This ruling is a positive development for Unions that are bargaining a first contract after voluntary recognition, particularly where the employer causes delay after recognition and before getting to the table.

For more information, contact your labor law counsel.

By Jake White | June 12, 2015

Legal Developments