FOIA Advisor

Q&A: I'm sticking with the Union

Q&A (2019)Allan BlutsteinComment

Q. Is a government contractor's collective bargaining agreement (CBA) exempt from FOIA?

A. Maybe. If the CBA is already in the public domain, then it is not exempt. If the CBA is not in public domain and it was was submitted to a federal agency as part of a contract proposal, the CBA would be fully exempt under Exemption 3 if the proposal was not successful. If the proposal was successful, however, Exemption 3 would protect any portion of the proposal that is not set forth or incorporated by reference in the contract   See generally OIP's guidance on contract proposals.

If Exemption 3 does not resolve the matter, Exemption 4 would certainly be in play, particularly if the CBA includes information such labor rates.  The agency would then need to initiate the "submitter notice" process per Executive Order 12600 and agency regulations.