Substantiating “Competitive Disadvantage” Claims: A Broad Reading of Truitt

This Note argues that the broad reading of Truitt is correct. It advocates a broad rule which would require an employer to disclose substantiating financial information to its employees’ union whenever it claims that meeting a proposed wage demand would place the firm at a competitive disadvantage. Because the appropriateness of substantiating financial information is factually dependent, this Note will not focus on the type or amount of information that should be disclosed. Instead, it will focus on the legal and policy justifications for a broad disclosure rule. Part I reviews Truitt and discusses the various interpretations given to it by lower courts and the NLRB. Part II examines some economic concepts and demonstrates that full disclosure of financial information is crucial when evaluating employer bargaining claims made in response to union wage demands. Part III argues that the concept of good faith bargaining as espoused by the Supreme Court and the “relevancy” test support a broad disclosure obligation. Part IV discusses the advantages of a broad disclosure rule that would inure to the benefit of employers, employees, the NLRB, the judiciary, and society.