Employers May Have to Bargain With Unions Over Response to Employee Data Breaches

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

May 4, 2015

Unionized employers may soon be required to submit the manner in which they respond to any breaches of employee data to the collective bargaining table.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) gives employees the right to collectively bargain about wages, benefits and working conditions.

In a precedent-setting complaint, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has alleged that the US Postal Service (USPS) violated this right when it failed to collectively bargain with the postal workers union over the response to a data security breach that took place last fall.

The breach "compromised the personal information of hundreds of thousands of current and former postal employees," according to the union.

The USPS filed a response to the complaint on April 14, but the response is not available to the public without a Freedom of Information Act request.

A trial before an NLRB administrative law judge is expected to take place this month in the District of Columbia. Either party may appeal the decision to the full NLRB.