NLRB declares taking care of employees violates the NLRA

by Michael Haberman on December 3, 2014 · 0 comments

Offering your employees identity theft protection may violate the NLRA according to the NLRB

Offering your employees identity theft protection may violate the NLRA according to the NLRB

Yes, you read that right. The National Labor Relations Board has declared that trying to do right by your employees is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act, specifically Section 8(a), subsections 1 & 5. Well, maybe I have taken a bit of license in making that statement given that the NLRB did not say that in those specific words. Let me explain.

The Post Office

The United States Post Office suffered a data breach that put employee information at risk, an event that was well publicized in the press. Because of the potential harm the USPS immediately offered every affected employee, all 750,000 of them, one free year of credit-monitoring. I thought that was pretty generous and certainly in the best interests of the employees. The union however, backed by the NLRB, thought different.

On behalf of the union the NLRB has charged the USPS with an unfair labor practice (ULP) under Section 8(a) and has enjoined the USPS under section 10(j) from instituting the credit-monitoring service. Their claim was that this was unilateral change in the wages, hours and working conditions of the union employees. According to the NLRB the USPS must negotiate with the union on this issue.

I imagine the union wants to get more coverage or something else from the USPS, which is losing billions of dollars per year. In the meantime no one is getting credit monitoring and are running the risk of having their identity or credit status ruined.

Sometimes it is hard to understand what people are thinking.

Thanks to the Employment Law E-buzz for the heads-up. If you want to read their take on this from the cybersecurity point of view, click here.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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