Employer Had Right to Remove Union
The 4th Circuit ruled July 25 in NLRB v. B.A. Mullican Lumber & Mfg. Co. that an employer correctly withdrew recognition from a union based on substantial objective evidence that the union had lost majority support.
In September 2001, a little more than a year after their union was certified, a majority of bargaining-unit employees filed a decertification petition. The union continued to try to ratify an incomplete collective bargaining agreement. Meanwhile employees began to give the employer information that convinced it that the union had lost majority support. On the basis of this evidence the employer withdrew recognition in June 2002.
Courts in other cases have held that because both men and women experience infertility, sex-bias protections don't apply. In this case, the court held that because only women undergo time-consuming in vitro fertilization, they may be protected by sex-bias law. Treatment for men usually takes less time.
Nalco is seeking a rehearing before a full 11-judge panel of the court.