Tag Archives: Unfair labor practice

Employer agrees to rescind social media policy

On April 7, 2014, Valero Services, Inc. agreed to rescind its nationwide social media policy and to post and mail a NLRB remedial notice to its employees throughout the country in response to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Valero Services provides employee leasing services to refineries and plants located throughout the United States, including a refinery located in Port Arthur, Texas.

The United Steelworkers of America filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB Region 16, alleging that Valero Services social media policy interfered with employees’ rights to discuss their terms and conditions of employment on social media. Region 16 found merit to the allegations and issued complaint. During the hearing, Associate Chief Administrative Law Judge William N. Cates approved a settlement agreement resolving the dispute. Under the terms of the settlement, Valero Services agreed to notify employees that it will rescind its unlawful social media policy and to post NLRB notices at its 52 facilities nationwide, as well as to mail notices to employees, advising them that they will not be prohibited from using social media to discuss their terms and conditions of employment.

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Labor Relations: The Rules Have Changed | BusinessWest

In Collective Bargaining, Employers Have to Watch What They Say

This article by Frederick sullivan is one of the most timely and interesting pieces on the mechanics of collective bargaining language that I have seen in a long time.  Now more than ever, labor relations practitioners have to think not only about what they say, but how they say it.    Between the advent of social media, and the new Obama labor board, labor relations expertise is rapidly moving from old school to the bleeding edge of human resources.   Are you keeping up? – MVD

Source: BusinessWest

By FREDERICK L. SULLIVAN, Esq.

The general council for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued guidelines to the agency’s regional offices on prosecuting unfair labor practice charges against employers that refuse to give information to unions during collective bargaining.
Generally, under existing labor law, a union is entitled to information about the bargaining unit employees’ terms and conditions of employment. But when the requested information involves matters outside the bargaining unit, the union bears the burden of showing the relevance of the requested information to the union’s bargaining responsibilities for its unit members.
Additionally, an employer’s statements or proposals during actual negotiations may make financial or other specific and limited information relevant to negotiations — and, thus, information that the union is entitled to request and to receive. For example, employer statements of an ‘inability to pay’ or ‘cannot afford’ will trigger an obligation to provide financial information if the union requests it.
The general counsel stated that there are no magic words required to create the employer’s obligation to provide financial information. Whenever the employer’s statements and action convey an inability to pay, the obligation is established. Thus, claims of economic hardship, business losses, prospect of layoffs, a matter of survival, or a comment such as, “acceptance of the offer would enable the company to retain your jobs and get back in the black,” in the context of the particular bargaining, have been found to amount to a claim of inability to pay that gives rise to an obligation to provide requested financial information.
The general counsel told NLRB regional directors to distinguish between general claims of inability to pay that give rise to financial information obligations and other, more limited employer claims that can be the subject of a union’s demand for verification. Besides inability statements, an employer may make a statement during bargaining that, according to the NLRB, will give rise to an obligation to provide the union with specific requested information.
For example, when an employer claimed a need to be more competitive, the NLRB ordered the employer to provide the union with competitor data, labor costs, and other information relevant to the claim. General counsel said a union is entitled to information tailored to what allows the union to evaluate specific employer assertions made during bargaining.
General counsel instructed the NLRB regions to analytically distinguish between inability to pay and an employer’s obligation to provide information in response to a specific claim by the employer made during negotiations, e.g., an inability to compete.
This year the NLRB ruled that a union is entitled to specific information regarding an employer’s job-bidding practices because the employer had contended in bargaining that its wages and benefits affected the employer’s ability to get and receive job bids. The NLRB ruled that a union is entitled to information that supports or disproves an employer’s representation.
The general counsel is advising the NLRB’s regional offices to pay close attention to an employer’s words used to support the employer’s bargaining position or used as reasons to reject a union’s proposal. The NLRB is entertaining demands that an employer verify whatever it communicates to the union as the reason for the employer’s position.
Employers need to be very deliberate in how they articulate reasons for their bargaining positions. Loose, unthinking statements can be seized upon by a union to demand all sorts of data and information from the employer. Before using references to costs, competition, etc., the employer should determine if it has data to support its claim and whether it will be willing to provide the information to the union. The current NLRB is moving employers toward a position of having to verify statements that in the past may have been considered part of the bargaining banter.
Now, much more than before, with the current NLRB administration, an employer has to develop a plan for each position that it takes on each proposal and counterproposal. Plus, an employer has to calculate how it will describe its positions and how it will respond, in detail, to union questions about the employer’s reasons so as to avoid giving rise to unintended information obligations. The general counsel’s emphasis on this topic and instructions to the NLRB regional offices constitute a move toward greater power in bargaining for union representatives.

Frederick Sullivan is a founding partner with the Springfield-based firm Sullivan, Hayes & Quinn, which represents employers in labor and employment-law matters; (413) 736-4538.

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Court of Appeals enforces NLRB order, finds investment fund manager jointly liable for unlawful acts at Hawaii resort

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NLRB rules against company AND private equity firm jointly

From an NLRB press release this afternoon.   Managers at private equity firms need to pay attention to this!

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has enforced a National Labor Relations Board order finding that Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., an asset manager for investment funds, effectively controlled the management of Hawaii’s Turtle Bay Resort and shared responsibility for unfair labor practices committed by local managers.

In an unpublished decision issued Sept. 26, the Court concluded that Oaktree and TBR Property, Inc. constituted a single employer and were jointly liable with Benchmark Hospitality, Inc. for unfair labor practices at the resort, located in Kahuku on the island of Oahu.

The Court found that the resort unlawfully denied access to representatives of UNITE HERE Local 5, which represents about 360 resort employees, and prevented the union from collecting dues at the resort.  In addition, the Court summarily enforced the Board’s March 2009 order (reissued in 2010) that Oaktree and TBR, along with Benchmark, violated federal labor law by refusing to bargain in good faith, suspending and terminating employees for their union activity, maintaining overly broad rules that prohibit employees from distributing literature in non-work areas during non-work times, and threatening to close the resort in retaliation for protected activity, among other ways.

In its ruling, the Board ordered the employer to stop the illegal activity, provide the union with information requested for bargaining, offer reinstatement to the terminated employee, and make whole any loss of earnings to the terminated and suspended employees.

Oaktree Capital, TBR Property and Benchmark Hospitality appealed the Board’s findings of joint liability and unlawful denial of access. In its 2-to-1 decision on Monday, the Court denied the appeal and enforced the Board’s order.

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Breaking: NLRB settlement imposes heavy employer remedies

Board imposes heavy remedies on Missouri company

The National Labor Relations Board has been discussing using more strict employer remedies in recent days, and a case they just settled contains many of these remedies, including requiring a company executive to read the terms of the settlement aloud before all employees, and granting access to the employer’s property for purposes of organizing.

The actions of this employer as described in the NLRB press release seems very egregious, but these new remedies could be extended to all employers who commit an Unfair Labor Practice.  Stay tuned!

Missouri companies agrees to significant backpay and access remedies to settle charges of unlawful behavior during union organizing campaigns

American Directional Boring, a Missouri company that installs cable and fiber optics, has paid $262,500 to eight former employees who were fired for trying to organize a union at the company’s St. Louis facility. The company also agreed to significant remedies, including granting access and providing employee names to union organizers.

In addition to posting a formal Board notice, the company agreed to have a  high-level manager read the notice aloud to employees, to mail the notice to current and former unit employees St. Louis facility , and to include a second notice to current employees apprising them of their right to report incidents of intimidation or coercion to the Board’s St. Louis regional office.

The company will allow the union access to its St. Louis and Union, Missouri facilities to meet with employees.  At the St. Louis facility, the union is allowed access to a non-work area for up to one hour every two-weeks until June 30, and can  hold one half-hour mandatory employee meeting on paid time. At the Union facility, the union can hold two half-hour mandatory employee meetings on paid time

The company also agreed to provide the Union with a list of names and addresses of current employees at both facilities.

During the nascent organizing campaign, a company manager threatened that the facility would close if the organizing drive was successful, repeatedly emphasized that the company would never recognize a union, encouraged supporters of the union to get jobs elsewhere, and threatened to discipline employees for wearing union pins.  The company’s anti-union campaign culminated with the firing of 13 union supporters.

An Administrative Law Judge found that the company’s actions violated the National Labor Relations Act.  The Judge’s ruling was upheld by the National Labor Relations Board in Washington.  The company then appealed the Board’s decision to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Board filed for enforcement of its decision in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

While the case was pending in court, the settlement was reached through the efforts of the Board’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Branch, Region 14, and the Eighth Circuit’s settlement program.  The settlement resolved all issues in the court case and also resolved all pending unfair labor practice charges.

The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative. The agency also acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions

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Union to pay millions for illegally obtaining workers private information

Union accessed worker’s home addresses illegally

A union is going to have to pay millions of dollars for imporporerly obtaining the home addresses of employees at the Cintas company, according to this story from the Courthouse News Service:

A textile union must pay more than $4 million under the settlement of a federal class action that claims it illegally accessed motor vehicle records to coerce Cintas workers into unionizing.

U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell signed an order granting final approval of the settlement on Tuesday. 

Workers from Cintas’ factory in Allentown, Pa., and their families had sued the Union of Needlestrades, Industrial and Textile Employees in 2004 for violations of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act. The workers claimed that the union, which goes by the acronym Unite, harassed them in unannounced visits to their homes. To find out workers’ private home addresses, Unite monitored the factory parking lot and searched motor vehicle records for their license plate numbers.

 “It was winter, it was late afternoon, it was getting dark, people were coming to their house uninvited, unexpected,” plaintiffs’ attorney, David Picker, of Philadelphia-based Spector Gadon told Courthouse News.

 The Cincinnati-based Cintas is a leader in uniform manufacturing.

As of Feb. 3, roughly 249 claim forms, which are used to determine an individual’s class eligibility, were received by the escrow agent handling the funds, according to court records. 

The $4 million settlement includes $2,500 in statutory damages for each of the roughly 1,200 class members, plus $1 million in attorneys’ fees. The $2,500 figure is the minimum amount of damages for a single violation of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.

Picker said that any funds remaining following disbursement to class members will be returned to Unite.

As part of the settlement, the union is permanently enjoined from using personal information about the class members that was obtained in violation of the act, court records show. The judge had granted preliminary approval in October.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which Picker said was part of a joint organizing campaign with Unite, was originally a party to the complaint, but was dismissed as a defendant in September 2005, according to court records.

Though Unite and its attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment, court records show that they stridently argued against Cintas workers’ 2004 complaint, calling the claims “an echo of employer tactics a century ago.”

“It would stand decades of federal labor policy on its head to conclude that this alleged conduct – the precise activity which federal law expects and encourages unions to undertake – is somehow unlawful,” according to documents filed along with Unite’s 2004 motion to dismiss.

The defense claimed that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has primary jurisdiction over regulation of union organizing, and that the plaintiffs’ claim should have been dismissed because it encroached on that jurisdiction.

It pointed out that the NLRB plainly considers it acceptable to gather data from license plate, calling it the “usual channel that non-employee union organizers have attempted to use to communicate with employees about the advantages or organization.”

The union also tried to draw a distinction between legitimate use of license plate information for organizing and use that would constitute “coercive surveillance.”

“Recording license plate numbers of nonstrikers is a form of coercion recognized by the board” as a statutory violation, Unite’s attorneys had argued.

In 1998, NLRB attorneys “listed recording of license plates as one of the methods that must be proven futile before a union can request an employee list from an employer,” Unite claimed.

The union added that Cintas workers were not following congressional intent for the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, which they say was passed “to preclude stalker-type conduct.”  Unite added that the act’s principal sponsor in the Senate, Barbara Boxer, was primarily concerned with stalkers who preyed on women by accessing local Department of Motor Vehicle records.

“There is nothing in the legislative history of the DPPA that suggests Congress considered the impact of applying this statute to traditional union organizing activities,” the defense had argued.

 Unite had also that the plaintiffs were “entirely lacking in the kind of specificity that allegations of criminal conduct are required to meet,” calling the plaintiffs’ amended complaint “nothing more than a fishing expedition in which plaintiffs suspect the existence of, and hope to develop, a case of criminal misconduct through discovery.”

 The defense also said the act specifies certain permitted uses of personal information derived from motor vehicle records, including use of such information in connection with court proceedings and “investigation in anticipation of litigation.”

Unite said there was a “welter of proceedings” between Cintas and the union, rendering the visiting of homes “plainly lawful to the extent it occurred in connection with any of the permitted uses.”

The case was litigated for over six years, wending its way through the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the 3rd Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court and generating at least seven reported decisions, according to court records.  

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NLRB “Facebook” free speech case settled

American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc. case ends in settlement

The NLRB has released the following press release announcing the settlement.   Thanks to my friend Seth Borden over at Labor Relations Today for letting me know about this right away!  Click the link for Seth’s blog. He has some great analysis of this case, and some others coming behind it that will continue to define the status of social media and labor relations.

Settlement reached in case involving discharge for Facebook comments

A settlement has been reached in a case involving the discharge of a Connecticut ambulance service
employee for posting negative comments about a supervisor on her Facebook page.

The NLRB’s Hartford regional office issued a complaint against American Medical Response of
Connecticut, Inc., on October 27, 2010, alleging that the discharge violated federal labor law
because the employee was engaged in protected activity when she posted the comments about her
supervisor, and responded to further comments from her co-workers. Under the National Labor
Relations Act, employees may discuss the terms and conditions of their employment with coworkers
and others.

The NLRB complaint also alleged that the company maintained overly-broad rules in its employee
handbook regarding blogging, Internet posting, and communications between employees, and that it
had illegally denied union representation to the employee during an investigatory interview shortly
before the employee posted the negative comments on her Facebook page.

Under the terms of the settlement approved today by Hartford Regional Director Jonathan
Kreisberg, the company agreed to revise its overly-broad rules to ensure that they do not improperly
restrict employees from discussing their wages, hours and working conditions with co-workers and
others while not at work, and that they would not discipline or discharge employees for engaging in
such discussions.

The company also promised that employee requests for union representation will not be denied in
the future and that employees will not be threatened with discipline for requesting union
representation. The allegations involving the employee’s discharge were resolved through a
separate, private agreement between the employee and the company.

The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the authority to
safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have a union as their collective
bargaining representative, and to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private
sector employers and unions.
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Eye on the NLRB: how agency rulemaking could affect your business

NLRB trying to make big changes?

This post was written by Peter List of Labor Union Report with the title NLRB Moves to Humiliate Employers, Give Unions Access to Employees & Property.  I am reposting it here with his permission.     For that, he has my thanks.

While the article is very long, I thought it was worth sharing with you.   Peter is conservative by nature, and heavily biased in many of his views on labor relations issues, but what he portrays here could happen.  You should read it for your own edification. 

Here’s the scene:

Imagine yourself a small business owner with 50 employees or so. You’ve just spent the last two years of the Great Recession barely keeping your head above water, taking on some debt to keep your business viable. You’ve made a promise to yourself not to lay any of your employees off, but you also haven’t been able to give any raises, you’ve had to take away dental benefits, and everyone’s health care costs are going up this year because of ObamaCare.

At last, though, things are starting to look up a little and you finally have enough business to hire a couple of new employees.  After a fairly extensive search, you find a couple of candidates who seem like good fits. They’ve been unemployed for a while and seem really grateful that you’ve given them a job. It turns out, they’re pretty knowledgeable on running equipment and seem to get along really well with your other employees.

Well, a few months go by and one Friday afternoon, just before you’re to head home for the weekend, you get a fax from the National Labor Relations Board. The fax states that “unfair labor practice” charges have been filed against you and your company. Among other charges are those alleging that you fired a pro-union employee, interrogated employees, solicited grievances, made promises of benefits, and threatened to close…all illegal acts.

You contact your attorney and, through an inquiry to the NRLB, he finds out the basis of the charges, you learn that a union has targeted your company. Your attorney then advises you that you should probably settle the charges because they are pretty damning. How so? you ask.

Well, he tells you, it seems that, during your employee meeting a few weeks ago when you had promised that you were restoring the company’s dental plan later in the year, one of the new guys had asked you how you feel about a union, you said jokingly and off the cuff, “I’ll close my doors before I ever go union.” That was bad enough, your lawyer tells you, but then you allegedly asked the question, “Why? Do you want a union?” On top of that, he tells you, you fired a pro-union employee (never mind that you didn’t know that the guy was pro-union).

While you don’t remember all of the details of that meeting, the lawyer’s account (which he got from the NLRB) sounds pretty accurate. Now, your lawyer tells you, you can fight the charges which may cost you $50,000 to $100,000 and you’ll still probably lose, or you can settle the charges.

Here’s what the NLRB wants:

  • You must give the union a list of all of your employees’ names and addresses so the union can contact them at home
  • You must let the union post information on your bulletin boards
  • You must allow the union to come into your company and meet with your employees
  • You must offer full reinstatement to the pro-union employee, with backpay (even though he was fired for damaging a customer’s order—purposefully you suspect)
  • Lastly, you must stand in front of your employees and read out loud the posting of the settlement with the NLRB

If you don’t settle the charges, your lawyer tells you, the NLRB is prepared to go to federal court to get an injunction ordering you to comply.

Oh, and by the way, your attorney tells you, that pro-union employee (one of the new hires you had hired a few months back) appears to be a union salt—whose sole purpose was to get hired in order to unionize your company.

If this sounds implausible, it shouldn’t. It is precisely the machinery that the union-controlled National Labor Relations Board set into place…last month.

Continue reading Eye on the NLRB: how agency rulemaking could affect your business

Building the Employee Free Choice Act one brick at a time?

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New decision by NLRB approves “sweetheart contracts” for unions

Prolific labor relations and political blogger Peter List of  Labor Union Report has posted an important article today about a newly released decision by the National Labor Relations Board.   The stuff List is reporting on is very much the stuff that makes labor relations people geek out, and busy HR Generalist suddenly think that a file review of their I-9 files suddenly sounds like a great idea, but this is important stuff.   Take a look at a portion of what List has to say, and then I will break down the important parts of the decision after the jump:

New NLRB Decision Legitimizes Unions’ Race to the Bottom

They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  If that is true, then every non-union worker and legitimate union agent has great cause to be concerned. You see, the union-controlled National Labor Relations Board just paved the roadway and gave every unscrupulous union boss and employer the means and the   to severely undermine workers rights in America.

On Monday, in the haste to do everything they can to put workers and their paychecks into union bosses’ hands at all costs, the union-controlled NLRB issued a decision that has those in control of today’s unions (and certain kinds of employers) grinning from ear to ear. You see, the union-controlled NLRB just legitimized “sweetheart unions” who come knocking on employers’ doors bearing gifts called “sweetheart contracts.”

In a decision [in PDF] involving the United Auto Workers and the Dana Corporation, the NLRB dismissed unfair labor practice charges that Dana employees filed in 2003 and 2004 against both the UAW and their employer.  The employees’ charges were based on the UAW and Dana entering into a Letter of Agreement on behalf of the then non-union employees that gave the UAW the right to unionize Dana’s employees without a secret-ballot election (through “card-check”) and established the parameters of a contract before the union was even their collective bargaining agent.

Read the rest of List’s article here.

Here is the bottom line of this decision: the NLRB has said it is okay for unions and employers to bargain for a union contract and create a unionized workplace without first asking if that is what the majority of the employees if that is what they really want.   The union and company can meet privately, craft a tentative deal, and then the union can go out and ask employees if they want to sign up for it, with no real opportunity to discuss any of the pros and cons of unionism first.  This doesn’t ensure a union necessarily, but it greatly increases the chance of unionization while at the same time taking the employees right to choose hich union they might want or not want.  Hence the term “sweetheart deal”. The union and company make a deal good for them, but maybe not the nest deal for employees.

Most employers would not agree to card check, even in this type of situation, but some companies would, either to avoid a prolonged campaign, or to ensure that they got a more favorable agreement from a specific union, in exchange for agreeing to campaign neutrality.    That is what makes this ruling one brick in the regulatory implementation of card check.  It gives unions a little more room to pressure companies to accept card check voluntarily, rather than using the private ballot election.

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National Labor Relations Board issues complaint over “card check” violations

Unfair Labor Practice Charges consolidated, remedy sought

The NLRB is really busy these days.    The story below, clipped from the Jobs with Justice blog explains how the National Labor Relations Board has taken a number of separately filed charges and consolidated them nationally into an Unfair Labor Practice case against Regis.

From the Jobs with Justice blog story “Working at Supercuts isn’t so Super” By Pete Meyers, written on November 1st, 2010

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint late Friday against the Minneapolis-based Regis Corporation, which operates some 10,000 hair salons nationally under 34 different brand-names including Supercuts and Cost Cutters, ordering Regis to cease and desist in its illegal actions. In the complaint, the NLRB investigated and then determined that the Regis Corporation had illegally solicited employees to promise in writing that they would not sign union authorization cards in the future.  The investigation commenced as a result of an Unfair Labor Practice complaint filed with the NLRB by the Tompkins County Workers’ Center / Jobs with Justice on behalf of two workers at an Ithaca, NY Cost Cutters, as well as workers in Minneapolis and Indianapolis.

The NLRB complaint says that in a DVD played to employees across the country, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Finkelstein, warned that hair stylists would be blacklisted from the industry if they supported a union.  In the recording, he exhorted employees to sign a “Protection of Secret Vote Agreement,” which would prospectively revoke any union authorization cards in the future.

The complaint states the remedies being sought, including:

  • an order requiring the Regis Corporation to produce a new DVD in which CEO Finkelstein will read an NLRB notice about the illegal acts, to be played to all employees throughout the 10,000 stores;
  • an order to post a standard Notice to Employees at all of its stores describing the remedy and how it broke the law by inhibiting the organizing of workers.
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The National Labor Relations Board can cost you money!

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Two Texas employees settle for $900,000

Many HR people never have an occassion to hear from the National Labor Relations Board.  If and when you do, it is easy to consider them to be a somewhat obscure organization with little authority.

Here is a reason for you to perk up and take notice in the event you ever receive an envelope from this U.S. government regulatory/enforcement agency.  Odds are you will already have a reason to be expecting such an envelope, but you never know.

Check out this report from the website of the Greater Southeastern Massachusetts Labor Council:

The Texas Dental Association has distributed $900,000 in back pay awards to two former employees who were fired in relation to a petition complaining of poor management and unfair treatment.

The Association also agreed to post a notice informing employees that they cannot be fired for acting together for mutual benefit and protection.

The case grew out of a meeting of employees in 2006 that resulted in a petition to delegates of the association, which represents more than 7,000 dentists in Texas. The petition, signed by 11 employees using aliases, asked for an outside investigation of management and working conditions at the association’s Austin headquarters.

The delegates declined to authorize an investigation, and the association director initiated an investigation that included a forensic study of office computers. One employee who had helped write the petition was fired after a fragment of it was found on his computer. The second employee, a supervisor who refused to divulge the names of employees involved in the petition, was also fired.

An Administrative Law Judge found the first employee was unlawfully fired for engaging in protected activity, and that the supervisor was fired for refusing to engage in unlawful activity by divulging the employees’ identities. The Judge’s ruling was upheld by the National Labor Relations Board in Washington. The employer then appealed the NLRB decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the NLRB filed for enforcement of its decision.

While the case was pending, the settlement was reached through the Board’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program with Fifth Circuit mediation. The two former employees waived their rights to reinstatement and the association agreed to provide a neutral reference.

“This settlement was made possible by the hard work of many NLRB employees, including trial attorney Robert Perez, compliance officer Charlene Donovan, Deputy Assistant General Counsel Margaret Gaines and Attorney Jeffrey Burritt,” said Martha Kinard, director of the NLRB Regional Office in Fort Worth. “We hope it sends a message to employees that they have a right to act together to improve their working conditions, with or without a union.”

The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative. The agency also acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions

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