Use of automobiles
The Public Employment Relations Board has ruled that the use of automobiles is an item subject to mandatory negotiations. In a case involving the City of Buffalo (Case U-4473). PERB held that the City could not unilaterally restrict employees from using their automobiles in connection with their work as such action was a “unilateral discontinuation of a past practice.” Buffalo had stopped permitting certain employees to charge for the use of their car in connection with travel on the job and offered “bus fare” instead. In another case, PERB held that Nassau County could not stop its “past practice” of assigning certain workers County owned vehicles on a 24 hour basis without first negotiating the matter with the Union.
No smoking areas
The Steuben-Alleganay BOCES had designated certain areas as smoking areas for its employees, prohibiting smoking in other parts of the building. When the Union challenged the work rule, PERB affirmed a hearing officer’s ruling that the employer could not unilaterally restrict employees to smoking in specific areas of a building, as employee smoking is a mandatory item of negotiations under the Taylor Law (Case U-4259)