Good Faith in Bargaining

Both employers and unions must bargain with one another in good faith. The duty of parties to bargain in good faith is very important to the collective bargaining process, since negotiations between employers and unions can become very intense and heated. Interpretations of the term “good faith” under the NLRA typically focus an openness, fairness, mutuality of conduct, and cooperation between parties. Many state statutes define “good faith” similarly, though some states provide more specific guidance regarding what constitutes good faith bargaining. Some statutes also provide a list of examples of instances that are considered bargaining in bad faith. Failure or refusal to negotiate in good faith constitutes an unfair labor practice under the NLRA and many other statutes.


Inside Good Faith in Bargaining