Labor Board Finds Employer Committed Unfair Labor Practice By Ceasing To Pay Pension Contributions After Labor Contract Expired

On August 26, 2016, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board, by 2-1 decision, found that StaffCo of Brooklyn, LLC, the employer of a unit of registered nurses and nurse practitioners represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), committed an unfair labor practice by ceasing to pay pension contributions for the unit employees after its last collective bargaining agreement with NYSNA had expired.  The Board found that StaffCo violated its statutory duty to maintain the status quo with respect to terms of employment when it stopped making the pension contributions, even though there was no longer a contract in effect between the parties.  The Board’s decision, which is subject to review by an appropriate United States Court of Appeals, orders StaffCo to make all required contributions, including any additional amounts owed, to NYSNA’s pension plan or, if the plan does not accept the contributions, to an escrow account negotiated with NYSNA.  The decision also orders StaffCo to make unit employees whole for any expenses resulting from its failure to make the required pension contributions, with interest.   See StaffCo of Brooklyn LLC and New York State Nurses Association, 364 NLRB No. 102 (Aug. 26, 2016).

Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP attorney Kate Swearengen litigated the case for NYSNA.

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