West Caldwell, New Jersey
In early March 2011, supervisors at Ambriola Co., a cheese processing facility, held a meeting of all the company’s employees, informing them that they would be receiving merit- based wage increases. The supervisors told the employees that they were prohibited from discussing the extent of their pay increases, stating that anyone found to have discussed their raise with co-workers would be fired.
Later that month, an employee called another employee to complain. During this conversation, the first employee told his colleague that the supervisor had told him that he had gotten the biggest raise. The next day, the colleague talked to the supervisor, wanting to know why he didn’t get the same raise as his co-worker.
When the employee returned to work, the supervisor called both him and his co-worker into his office. The supervisor asked both if they had discussed their raises, and one employee admitted that he had. Four days later he was fired.
He contacted the NLRB’s Newark regional office, which investigated and concluded that the company had illegally fired him for discussing his raise. Such activity is considered a protected concerted activity. The company and the employee settled, with the employee receiving $25,000 in back pay.