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Judge orders Staffing Networks, Inc to reinstate unlawfully terminated employee

The Employer is a temporary employment agency that provides short and long term employment assignments.  The terminated employee worked as a long term picker for the Employer.  The terminated picker and her fellow pickers observed a stocker employee being discharged.  The pickers gathered together and requested an explanation for the stocker’s termination from their supervisor.  The supervisor informed the pickers that the stocker employee was terminated because of his attitude and his inability to maintain a brisk work pace. 

The supervisor reprimanded the employees for questioning him, informed the employees that it was not their place to meddle, and threatened that they could also be sent home if they continued questioning him regarding the incident.  After the initial discussion, the supervisor privately spoke with the terminated picker and informed her that she could be sent home.  When she reminded her supervisor that she had rights and could file a report with a state agency she was fired from her job.

The terminated picker filed a charge with the NLRB’s office in Chicago, IL. After a thorough investigation of the allegations, the Chicago Regional office issued a complaint against the Employer, and the case was tried in a federal administrative hearing.  An NLRB Administrative Law Judge found that the Employer had unlawfully threatened employees and discharged an employee in retaliation for their engaging in protected concerted activity. The judge ordered the Employer to offer the unlawfully terminated employee her job back, remove the discipline from her file, make her whole for the loss of earnings she suffered as a result of her unlawful termination, and post a notice to employees.

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