Matter of Equitable Gas Co. and Electrical Workers Local 1956

The employer increased health insurance premiums twice in a two-month period for non-union salaried employees.  The second increase of $10 per month was to “discourage tobacco use” and applied only to employees and their dependents who used tobacco products.  The union objected when the employer similarly raised the premiums for bargaining-unit employees who used tobacco products.  The arbitrator ruled that the employer could not unilaterally raise insurance rates of a select group without evidence that the group imposed increased insurance costs on the employer and, thus, ordered the employer to refund payments made by the affected union employees.

100 LA 681 (1993