Stericycle, Inc., (2016)

Date10 November 2016
Morgantown and Southampton, PA
and Cases 04–CA–137660
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 628 04–CA–158277
Lea Alvo-Sadiky, Esq., for the General Counsel.
Charles P. Roberts III, Esq. (Constangy, Brooks, Smith &
Prophete LLP) of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for the Respondent.
Claiborne S. Newlin, Esq. (Meranze, Katz, Gaudioso &
Newlin, PC), of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the Charging Party.
MICHAEL A. ROSAS, Administrative Law Judge. This case was tried in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania on August 24–25, 2016.1This controversy involves employees represented by
Teamsters Local 628 (the Union) at Stericycle, Inc.’s (the Company or Respondent)
Southampton and Morgantown, Pennsylvania facilities. The complaint, as amended,2alleges
that the Company violated Sections 8(a)(5) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act (the
Act)3by: (1) refusing to bargain with the Union before unilaterally recouping health care
premiums fro m employees; (2) refusing or failing to provide relevant and necessary information
to the Union; and (3) unilaterally imposing a team member handbook that changed numerous
terms and conditions of emplo yment. The co mplaint also alleges that the Company engaged in
coercive conduct and violated Section 8(a)(1) by maintaining policies and rules that interfered
with Section 7 rights. The Company admits taking the alleged unilateral actions, failing to
provide informat ion requested and implementing the policy and rules at issue. It denies,
however, that its conduct constituted unfair labor practices.
1All dates are in 2014 unless otherwise indicated.
2At the hearing, the General Counsel amendedthe Second Consolidated Complaint to eliminate
paragraphs 8(b) and 11 of the complaint. (Tr. 8, 2829.)
The Company also raised an affirmat ive defense alleging that the complaint is tainted by the
involvement of theRegional Director of Region 4 and should be transferred to a different region
for independent review, reconsideration, and processing.This defense referenced the Boards
Inspector General Report OIG-I-516 of his investigation into an alleged conflict of interest on the
part of the Regional Director while volunteering on behalf of a nonprofit organization. On5
August 24, 2016, I entered an order denying the Company’s motion to dismiss or, in the
alternative, disqualify all Region 4 staff in prosecuting this case. I also denied the Genera l
Counsel’s mo tion in limine and permitted the Company to introduce the OIG report int o
evidence under seal for further consideratio n on exceptions or appeal. However, I precluded the
Company from calling Office of General Counsel staff or other witnesses in order to further 10
litigate its conflict of interest defense.4At the outset of the hearing, I provided the parties with
an opportunity to reargue the General Counsels motion in limine and the Companys motion to
dismiss the co mplaint due to the conflict of interest. The argument produced nothing new,
except to clarify that the Company conceded that it did not possess evidence of an actual conflict
of interest on the part of staff lit igating the case. As a result, I reiterated my ruling that the 15
Company was precluded from offering any other evidence in support of its eighth affirmative
On the entire record,5including my observation of the demeanor of the witnesses, and
after considering briefs filed by the General Counsel and the Respondent, I make the follo wing20
The Company, a corporation, is engaged in providing medical waste and collect ion
treatment services to commercial customers throughout the United States, including to and from
its facilities in Southampton and Morgantown, Pennsylvania, where it annually purchases and
receives goods valued in excess of $50,000 directly from points outside the Commo nwealth of
Pennsylvania. The Company admits, and I find, that it is an employer engaged in co mmerce 30
within the meaning of Sectio n 2(2), (6), and (7) of the Act and that the Union is a labor
organization within the meaning of Section 2(5) of the Act.
A. The Company’s Operations
The Company is the largest medical waste disposal company in the United States. The
Company performs waste treatment at its Morgantown facilityinvo lving the collection,
processing and disposal of regulated medical waste (RMW), including bandages, bodily fluids, 40
and sharp containers of needles, fro m hospitals, nursing homes, and medical, dental and
4ALJ Exh. 1.
5The General Counsel’s unopposed motion to correct the transcript, dated October 7, 2016,
is granted and received in evidence as GC Exh. 33.
veterinary offices. Once delivered to the Morgantown facility, RMW is processed, chemically
treated, shredded in a treatment system, placed in containers and disposed of in landfills.
The Co mpany also operates a transfer station at its Southampton facility, where drivers
pick up trash which is then consolidated and brought to the Morgantown facility. These 5
employees pick up RMW from hospitals, doctor/dentist offices, and other medical facilities. The
RMW is transported to facilities fo r processing prior to disposal.
B. The Collective-Bargaining Agreements
1. The Southampton facility
The unio n represented Company employees at its former Montgomeryville, PA transfer
statio n from 1999 until 2006, when the Company moved those operations to Southampton. On
September 1, 2006, the Union was certified as the exclusive collective-bargaining representative 15
of employees at the Southampton facility(the Southampton unit). At all times since then, the
Union has been the exclusive collective-bargaining representative of the fo llowing employees in
the Southampton unit:
All full-time and regular part-time drivers, driver techs, in house techs, helpers, 20
dockworkers and long haul drivers of the Company at its Southampton, Pennsylvania
locatio n; but excluding all other employees, office clerical emplo yees, guards, and
supervisors as defined in the Act.
On April 4, 2014, the Company and Union negotiated a collect ive-bargaining agreement25
covering the Southampton unit, retroactive to November 1, 2013, and expiring on October 31,
2016 (the 2014 Southampton Agreement). The 2014 Southampton Agreement provided, in
pertinent part, that Southampton unit employees would be required to make contributions
towards their health insurance:
22.3 Upon ratification, employees will contribute on a pre-tax basis one (1%) of their straight
time hours paid per week to the cost of health coverage. The employer shall deduct this amount
bi-weekly and offset itagainst the employers monthly contributions to the Teamsters Health and
Welfare Fund as specified in 22.2 above . . .6
2. The Morgantown facility
On September 1, 2011, the Union was certified as the exclusive co llective-bargaining
representative of the Morgantown unit.Respondent and the Unio n subsequent ly entered into an
initial collective-bargaining agreement fo r the term of September 6, 2013,to February 29, 2016.7
A new CBA was ratified in June 2016.
6GC Exh. 2.
7GC Exh. 3 at 1.

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