Inside the High Court’s Take on Interpreting CBAs


Stuart M. Gerson and Steven M. Swirsky, Members of the Firm, and Christina C. Rentz, Associate, authored an article in Law360, titled “Inside the High Court’s Take on Interpreting CBAs.” (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Resolving a split in the circuits, the U.S. Supreme Court recently decided the case of CNH Industrial v. Reese definitively rejecting what had come to be known as the Yard-Man standard, and reaffirming that collective bargaining agreements must be interpreted according to ordinary contract principles. Although the Supreme Court has long held that ordinary cannons of contract construction apply to collective bargaining agreements, some federal courts developed a specialized set of assumptions, which came to be referred to as the Yard-Man inferences, which allowed them to read beyond the actual contract terms, to reach what in some cases have been more employee-friendly results when ordinary interpretation principles would not have allowed such a result.