Bargaining Update August 2023

Ten days after a swath of NSLU members descended on New Season’s corporate office to demand the company end its illegally discriminatory attendance rules, New Seasons has not only failed to come into compliance with the law, but doubled down on its draconian aims.  

In Thursday’s bargaining session, New Seasons stated it would end its discrimination over union members’ attendance only if NSLU agreed to an even more punitive policy. NSM demanded a return to the point system, but with regressive terms that would likely lead to a huge increase in the number of workers fired every year.






Time for to violations to fall off

6 Months

6 Months

12 Months


1 Point


2 Points

Partial Shift

2 Points


2 Points

Missed Shift

3 Points


3 Points

Time for attendance award

6 Months

6 Months

12 Months

Award Amount

8 Hours for FT, 4 Hours for PT

8 Hours for FT, 4 Hours for PT

Average Daily Hours (Likely Less Than 8)

NSM’s extortionate initial proposal would hold any attendance occurrence against workers for an entire year, and increase the notice required to take time off to thirty days. The company also asked for new communication guidelines, subject to discipline, requiring workers to notify the current Manager on Duty or a “Store Leader” - not a real job title at NSM - to call in three hours ahead of a sick-out (up from two).

The regressive policy proposed by the company further doubled the amount of time required to receive a perfect attendance award. The company wants this horrific downgrade implemented company-wide, according to the bargaining team.

“They weren’t bargaining, they were standing on the other side of the room throwing shit at us,” said one member of the NSLU bargaining team from Seven Corners. The team worked for hours trying to turn the company’s outrageous proposal into a workable policy document. “We had already presented a fair attendance article and received no counter offer from the company for 119 days,” she continued.

The Union’s proposal separated missed shifts from tardies, and allowed incidents legitimately outside of an employee’s control to be written off.

NSLU countered NSM’s offer, pointing out that the company’s proposal was twice as punitive as existing or previous policies. “We’re moving past that,” the company’s lawyer said. The company thought that a single-digit shift to their original proposal - from 12 points to 13 in a year, (Still down from 20 in years prior), and a two-hour call out window represented a good-faith offer.

NSLU’s general counsel, Katelyn Oldham, stated forcefully that the company’s radical departure from previous practice and unwillingness to compromise was unacceptable, before the NSLU bargaining team departed the session for the day.

New Season’s attempt at strong-arming NSM employees into a concessionary, unworkable, and draconian attendance policy must be stopped. Members are urged to commit to beating back the company’s bad-faith bargaining positions by signing a strike pledge card today. Talk to an NSLU organizer at your store to sign a card and show New Seasons that we will not take one step back. 

For the record, here's New Seasons' outrageous initial proposal:

(NSLU has NOT agreed to this proposal)

Employees are expected to arrive ready for work and on time for their scheduled shifts. To measure attendance infractions, we use a point-based system with a rolling 12-month drop-off period. Any points accrued through a missed shift, partial shift or tardy will fall off 12 months from the date of the incident. Points are not discipline. Points are a tool to track incidents over time and identify any significant patterns of poor attendance.


Points Accrued

Missed Shift (Excluding PTO approved sick)


Partial Shift (Missing one or more hours, excluding PTO approved sick)


Tardy (More than 6 minutes late, less than one hour)


12 or more points in a rolling 12-month period represent a clear pattern of poor attendance and will result in termination. We use a 12-month rolling period to be equitable and allow employees to recover from and correct any short-term poor attendance patterns.

Any requested days off, whether covered by PTO or not, should be formally requested and approved by management no less than 30 days in advance. Based on business needs, not all requests will be able to be approved. If the request is not approved the employee will be placed on the schedule and be expected to work their scheduled shift.

If a staff member arrives sick for their shift, or becomes ill while at work, the manager may send the person home for the wellbeing of the individual, and to safeguard the health of customers and coworkers. This will be recorded as a partial missed shift or missed shift depending on how much of the shift was not worked

If an employee leaves more than one hour early, it will be considered a partial shift. Paid Time Off (PTO) will not be applied automatically; employees will need to submit a request for PTO.

Notice to Employees
A notice, in person or digital, will be given to employees for each point they accrue over 5 points. This ensures that all employees will be given two or more notices before reaching termination. Points will not prohibit an employee from transfer or promotion, but they will be taken into consideration during the decision-making process.

Communication Guidelines
If employees are not able to work their shift as scheduled, they are required to provide the store with a minimum of a 3-hour notice. Employees must call the store and speak to a Store Leader or the current Manager On Duty (MOD).

Perfect Attendance
Any hourly employee who maintains zero points for a full 12 month rolling period may qualify for the perfect attendance award of one extra day of PTO. This extra day of PTO equals the staff member’s average number of hours worked per day in the previous six months.

Other Attendance Issues
Attendance issues not included in the point system will be handled separately. Depending on circumstances, these issues may be considered policy violations and managers may take corrective action up to and including termination (depending on severity and frequency).


- No Call / No Show
- Failing to provide 3-hour notice when calling out for a shift
- Clocking in or out for shifts at times other than what was scheduled
- Shift Abandonment (leaving before the end of a shift without notifying  management)
- Job Abandonment (Missing two consecutive scheduled shifts without notifying a manager or providing valid reason for their absence and lack of communication)

Protected Absences
It is important to note that not all attendance issues will be considered incidents under the scope of this policy. This policy is designed to prevent any discrimination or penalties against employees whose attendance concerns are protected by relevant local, state, and federal laws.

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