Cook County and Cook County Sheriff issued orders prohibiting employees from associating with anyone who is or was in a gang. The orders also required employees to complete a disclosure form detailing any gang affiliations. Failure to comply with the orders subjected employees to discipline including termination.
The union demanded bargaining over the orders and when the employers implemented the orders without bargaining, the union filed an unfair labor charge with the Illinois Labor Relations Board, Local Panel. The Local Labor Relations Board upheld the orders finding that they involved matters of inherent managerial authority and there was no duty to bargain over the orders prior to implementation.
On appeal, the First District Court of Appeals, reversed the Local Labor Relations Board and found that the orders involved both terms and conditions of employment and inherent managerial rights. Applying the Central City balancing test, the court held that the benefits of bargaining over the orders outweighed the burdens to the employer. The court acknowledged that the benefit/burden analysis is extremely fact specific. Here the union was able to show that the threat of incorrect disclosure by an employee could result in loss of employment, while the employer did not show any increase in employee gang affiliation justifying unilateral implementation.
Employers should consult with their attorneys prior to implementing any order or policy that may affect represented employees’ terms and conditions of employment. Such orders or policies may be subject to bargaining. Your attorney can provide you with options to assist in legal implementation of such orders and policies. (International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. The Illinois Labor Relations Board, 2017 IL App (1st) 152993)