Cross Nadel LLC founder Heidi A. Nadel quoted by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly regarding federal district court judge's rejection of labor relations privilege.
The Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly today in its article, "‘Labor relations privilege’ no bar to discovery of docs
Doctrine not yet recognized in Mass." quoted Cross Nadel LLC attorney Heidi A. Nadel about a federal district court magistrate refusal in DeGrandis v. Children’s Hospital Boston to recognize a labor relations privilege protecting from discovery by an employer communications between and employee and union representatives in connection with grievance proceedings that were also the subject of a wrongful termination action against the employer.
The court explained that no federal court had recognized a labor relations privilege, that Congress had not acted to create the privilege by statute, and that while two state courts had recognized such a privilege, the issue is currently before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
The article quoted attorney Nadel as follows:
Heidi A. Nadel, an employee-side lawyer in Quincy, noted that allowing discovery of confidential communications between employees and union reps gives employers an unfair advantage in court by providing a window into the strategy and thinking of their adversary.
Nadel is quoted further as explaining, "This erodes employees’ confidence in the union process, their willingness to speak freely and without fear that the employer will later learn the information shared, and even their inclination to participate fully in the union process when a lawsuit is available.”
UPDATE: On October 4, 2016, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court refused to recognize such a privilege in Chadwick v. Duxbury Public Schools.