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Change to FMLA Calculation Can Be Unfair Labor Practice Without Bargaining Issue with Union

In the case State ex rel. Prof’ls Guild v. State Empl. Rels. Bd., 2020-Ohio-3289, 2020 Ohio App. LEXIS 2218, an appellate court found a professional guild’s objections to magistrate’s decision are sustained in part and the corresponding writ of mandamus is granted because the county changed the leave calculation under its Family Medical Leave Act without bargaining the issue with guild, as required by R.C. 4117.08.

In this case, the Ohio State Employment Relations Board (SERB) unreasonably found the union did not meet its burden in establishing probable cause that an unfair labor practice (ULP) occurred when Montgomery County unilaterally changed the method for calculating FMLA leave during a 12-month period without bargaining the issue with the union. While FMLA law permitted Montgomery County to change its recertification policy to require more frequent recertifications, it was unreasonable for SERB not to find that this change affected the terms and conditions of employment. The fact that the parties had not previously bargained this issue did not relieve Montgomery County of its obligation to bargain this change in its policy. The magistrate erroneously concluded that SERB did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the union’s ULP charge in one case.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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