GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; WAIVER – By Contract/Zipper Clauses/Management Rights Clauses

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1402.03000 – By Contract/Zipper Clauses/Management Rights Clauses

An employer may lawfully take unilateral action on a matter within the scope of representation where the exclusive representative has waived its right to negotiate over changes to that subject. [Citations.] As waiver is an affirmative defense, the party asserting it bears the burden of proof, and any waiver of the right to bargain must be “clear and unmistakable.” [Citations.] An employer asserting a contractual waiver defense may rely on the waiver only during the term of the contract, unless the parties have explicitly agreed that it continues past contract expiration. [Citations.] Here, the ALJ correctly rejected the employer’s waiver defense on the ground that the memorandum of understanding was expired at the time the employer implemented the schedule changes. (p. 13.)