The National Labor Relations Board has ordered an employer to bargain with a union for at least 16 hours per week and to submit a progress report to the NLRB Regional Director every 30 days.  The case, Gimrock International involved an employer who, the Board found, had for several years failed to bargain in good faith for a first contract with the union representing its employees.  Two previous decisions by the Board finding the employer had refused to bargain were enforced by a United States court of appeals.  In this case, the Board decided to impose the enhanced remedies.

Enhanced remedies in first contract refusal to bargain cases were initially proposed in NLRB General Counsel Memorandum 07-08 issued in 2007.  Prior to the decision in Gimrock International, the remedy for refusal to bargain in good faith had been generally confined to additional orders to bargain and notice postings.  Such remedies were viewed as often ineffective in the types of cases identified in the General Counsel’s memorandum, involving the adoption of dilitory tactics to delay and inhibit bargaining.

During the two-member Board era (January 2008 – April 2010), the Board was unable to agree on adopting enhanced remedies, but they were included in a number of settlements entered into between the General Counsel and respondent employers.  Now that the Board is at nearly full strength, however, we can expect additional cases imposing enhanced remedies in first contract refusal to bargain cases.