(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Sunday, August 04, 2002

NLRB decisions This week's NLRB weekly summary has these decisions:

Control Bldg. Servicess affirms the ALJ's finding that the employer violated Section 8(a)(3) by firing an employee in retaliation for union activity. Though the ALJ had not explicitly found that unlawful motivation, the Board made such a finding, based on the pretextual nature of the employer's purported reasons, the timing of the discharge, and the employer's surveillance of employees.

AAR Hermetic affirms, without substantial discussion, the ALJ's dismissal of an 8(a)(3) refusal-to-hire-case, based on credibility determinations as to the employer's motivation.

Budget Rent-a-Car reverses the Regional Director's determination that the petitioned-for single-facility units were appropriate. The Board holds instead that the 5 rent-a-car locations in the Detroit area were so integrated that the single-facility presumption has been rebutted, and the 5 constitute a single unit.

Demco New York holds that the employer's interrogation of an employee about union membership, activities, and sentiments was coercive and thus violated section 8(a)(1), even though the interrogator was only a low-level supervisor and the conversation was relatively informal.

Hanson Aggregates Central is an unremarkable case finding various ULP's by the employer, and therefore setting aside the employer's election victory. (It's sad, I know, to call such a campaign of unlawfulness by an employer "unremarkable," but it is what we see every day in this line of work. To say that intentional flouting of the law is unremarkable doesn't mean it's acceptable.). There is some cross-talk among the Members as to the appropriate standard for determining when an employer has effectively repudiated unlawful action by one of its supervisors, but the case makes no new law in that regard for now.

Michael's Painting finds one company to be the alter ego of another (reaffirming that a partial legitimate motivation for the creation of a second company does not preclude a finding of alter ego status), and -- because of an outrageous pattern of violations of the law -- imposes a Gissel bargaining order.

Pinnacle Metal Products affirms the ALJ's finding that the employer unlawfully refused to reinstate strikers upon their unconditional offer to return. The Board rejects the employer's argument that the wording of the offer indicated that it applied only to those employees who physically showed up to work on a certain day; the Board held that the offer included all striking employees. The Board also held that, under the terms of the employer's drug-testing policy, returning strikers could not be subjected to drug testing as a condition of return to work.

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