An arbitrator ruled that an employer is not required to bargain with a union over a new rule prohibiting smoking in its buildings at all times, even though some employees were permitted to smoke at their work stations. The employer informed its employees and their union that smoking would be totally prohibited in all plant buildings in four months. When the company began to enforce the rule, the union argued that the rule drastically altered working conditions and, therefore, was subject to negotiation. The arbitrator ruled that there was “no valid impediment to the employer’s unilateral issuance of its rule against all smoking [inside its buildings].” The arbitrator also found the rule to be reasonable and said “the case has been solidly made for the necessity of protecting non-smokers from second-hand smoke.”
92 LA 181 (1989).