As many of you know, there has been a rash of data breaches with various entities in recent years with the Post Service being among those impacted. An interesting twist of this whole drama is the fact that when the breach took place with respect to the Postal Service, they acted quickly, in an attempt to have the least amount of impact on its employees, by offering all employees one year of free credit monitoring services in order to protect them from identity theft. Well, low and behold, the various unions which represent these employees, the American Postal Workers Union, the National Letter Carriers Association, and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, filed charges with the NLRB saying that the Postal Service violated the NLRA by failing to bargain before implementing these protections for its members. So here you have an employer trying to do the right thing by its employees in making them aware of a mechanism to protect them from identity theft, when time is obviously of the essence, and yet they get “slapped” by both their employees’ unions and the federal government. And this was not a minor breach by any stretch of the imagination. There were approximately 800,000 postal employees affected by the data breach. There is going to be a hearing this week before an Administrative Law Judge to determine whether or not the Postal Service violated the NLRA by not bargaining with the respective Unions over this matter. Note that one of the defenses in this case will be the fact that time was of the essence and there was not sufficient time to bargain with the Union and reach agreement if the employees’ rights were to be protected from identify theft. We will see how it plays out, but other entities need to keep in mind their NLRA obligations when a data breach occurs in the context of a unionized environment.