December 2020 Labor Blog; Recent NLRB Decisions; Christine K. D. Belcaid

Nestle USA, Inc., 18-CA-231008 (Dec. 7, 2020)

Under the Wright Line standard, the employer violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) by discharging an employee after that employee reported and complained about harassment by a line supervisor.  The employee engaged in protected concerted activity by bringing a group complaint about a line coordinator’s harassment of workers to management’s attention.  The employee told an HR representative and supervisor that he heard the line coordinator was referring to African-American employees when he allegedly said that “monkeys” were unable to perform an assignment he had given to them.  The employee’s protected activity was a motivating factor in the discharge.

 

Volvo Group North America, LLC, 15–CA–179071 (Dec. 3, 2020)

The employer lawfully issued an employee a written warning for violating a rule against wasting time.  The Board reversed the Administrative Law Judge’s decision finding that there is no reasonable basis for inferring that the employer harbored animus towards the employee’s union and other protected concerted activity.  Thus, the General Counsel did not sustain his Wright Line burden of proving the employee’s protected activity was a motivating factor in the employer’s decision to issue the employee a written warning for wasting time.

 

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 98, 04-CC-229379 (Nov. 25, 2020)

The union played an amplified crying baby recording at an excessively loud level in front of a construction site to coerce a general contractor to cease doing business with a subcontractor.  This action violated Section 8(b)(4)(ii)(B) of the NLRA.

 

FDRLST Media, LLC, 02-CA-243109 (Nov. 24, 2020)

The publisher of the online magazine The Federalist, unlawfully threatened employees when he said in a Twitter post: “FYI @fdrlst first one of you tries to unionize I swear I’ll send you back to the salt mine.”  The Board found that employees would reasonably view the message as expressing an intent to take swift action against any employee who tried to unionize the employer.  Thus, the employer violated Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA by threatening employees with unspecified reprisals if they engaged in union activity.

 

Laborers Local 91, 03-CB-202698 (Oct. 28, 2020)

The union violated Section 8(b)(1)(A) of the NLRA by:  (1) refusing to place an individual on its out-of-work referral list; (2) refusing to refer another individual from its out-of-work referral list; (3) removing that individual from its out-of-work referral list and keeping him off the list in retaliation for his Facebook posts criticizing the union’s business manager; and (4) by threatening one of the individuals that it would sue him to recover legal fees if he made false statements or charges in connection with his protected Board charges.

Categories: Labor Law Blog