Judge Orders Backpay and Reinstatement for Workers Fired for Discussing a CA Workers' Rights Book on Facebook

Several workers in a non-union store discussed complaints about their working conditions, including mis-treatment by their manager, on Facebook.  One of these workers eventually posted on Facebook: “hey dudes it’s totally cool, tomorrow I’m bringing a California Worker’s Rights book to work BOY will you be surprised by all the crap that’s going on that’s in violation.” 

A few days after this posting, the coworkers saw an email from one member of management to another, mistakenly sent to a shared email address, which read: “I screen printed these so you could see them … I guess she also stated that her mom picked up a California employment book and that we are doing all kind of things wrong … I think we need to take action right away …”

A few days later, the worker who posted about the California Workers’ Rights book and one other were fired. 

This law office filed a charge with the NLRB.  This conduct is called protected concerted activity because the activities of these workers involved an effort among workers to make their workplace better.  Region 20 of the National Labor Relations Board investigated and issued Complaint .  The matter went to a hearing, and the Administrative Law Judge issued a decision on April 27, 2012  finding the employer's conduct illegal.  He has ordered that the workers are entitled to reinstatement and backpay. He has ordered some unusual remedies and required the employer to post a notice describing its unfair labor practices.  This is a complete win.

For a complete copy of the decision, go to http://nlrb.gov/cases-decisions/case-decisions/administrative-law-judge-decisions and click on Case No. 20-CA-035511

To purchase copies of the California Workers’ Rights book involved coauthored by David A. Rosenfeld, Miles E. Locker, and Nina G. Fendel, click here: https://irlestore.berkeley.edu/laborcenter/cwr/orderform.php

Lisl Duncan

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