NLRB Decisions August 27 – September 2, 2016; Christine K. D. Belcaid

United States Postal Service, 362 NLRB No. 116 (August 27, 2016)

The Board clarified the appropriate standard, under Independent Stave Co., 287 NLRB 740, 743 (1987), for evaluating orders approving and incorporating settlement terms proposed by a Respondent over objections of the General Counsel and Charging Party: whether the order provides a full remedy for all the violations alleged in the complaint.  The settlement agreement contained a six-month sunset clause stating if the employer were to violate the order after the six-month period, the General Counsel would have no immediate recourse.  Because of this, the order did not provide a full remedy for the violations alleged in the complaint. 

Medco Health Solutions of Las Vegas, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 115 (August 27, 2016)

The Board held the employer did not establish special circumstances to justify requiring an employee to remove a t-shirt with the slogan, "I don't need a WOW [special recognition from the employer] to do my job," although the employer claimed customer tours and the "immediately offensive" nature of the shirt justified an absolute ban on the shirt.  The Board also found the employer's dress code, which prohibited clothing containing "confrontational, ... insulting, or provocative" statements, was unlawful because the employer applied those terms to prohibit the shirt, which the employee wore to voice discontent many of the employees felt about the WOW program.

Advanced Life Systems, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 117 (August 27, 2016)

The employer violated Section 8(a)(1) by telling an employee it would not be able to give wage increases if the employees voted for the union; violated Section 8(a)(3) and (1), under Wright Line, 251 NLRB 1083 (1980), by discontinuing the wage increases and Christmas payments because of the employees' union activity; and violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) by unilaterally discontinuing its practice of granting annual Christmas payments.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 118 (August 27, 2016)

Under Quiet-flex Mfg. Co., 344 NLRB 1055, 1056-57 (2005), the employer unlawfully disciplined six employees because they stopped work and engaged in a small, early morning, in-store protest to bring to the attention of management their mistreatment by a supervisor and to secure permanent jobs for temporary employees.  The employees did not lose the Act's protection because: their protest was peaceful and largely confined to a small, partially enclosed customer waiting area near the front of the large store; the employees promptly complied with directions to return to the customer waiting area or to clock out and leave the store; the employees protested for less than one hour and a half in the store, less than an hour of which followed the store's opening; the work stoppage did not interfere with the employer's business; the employees were unrepresented for collective bargaining purposes and enjoyed no procedure for group grievances; and the employer issued disciplinary coachings against the employees for abandoning work, refusing to return to work, and unauthorized use of company time. 

Pittsburgh Athletic Association, 364 NLRB No. 105 (August 29, 2016)

The Board granted the General Counsel's Motion for Default Judgment because the employer failed to file an answer to the complaint and failed to file a response to the Notice to Show Cause regarding why the Motion for Default Judgment should not be granted.  The Board found that the employer violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) by failing to maintain health insurance, a mandatory bargaining subject, for its unionized employees without first notifying the union and giving it an opportunity to bargain.

Leroy Tate d/b/a The Green Machine Lawn & Landscaping, 364 NLRB No. 119 (August 30, 2016)

The Board granted the General Counsel's Motion for Default Judgment because the employer failed to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement, which contains noncompliance provisions.  In particular, the employer failed to make the first backpay installment.  The Board also found all the allegations in the reissued complaint as true, ordered the employer to reinstate and make whole the unlawfully discharged and suspended employees, compensate the employees for any adverse tax consequences of receiving lump-sum backpay awards, and compensate - in accordance with the Board's recent decision in King Soopers, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 93 (Aug. 24, 2016) - the discharged employees for their search-for work and interim employment expenses regardless of whether those expenses exceed interim earnings.

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