U.S. District Court Orders Arbah Hotel Corporation to Pay Fines and NLRB Attorney Fees, Holding Arbah in Contempt of Injunction to Bargain in Good Faith
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On May 13, 2022, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted Region 22 of the NLRB’s Petition for contempt against Arbah Hotel Corporation and its affiliate The View Hotel, Inc. for failing to comply with the Court’s prior temporary injunction. To remedy Arbah’s failure to comply, the Court ordered Arbah to pay the NLRB attorneys’ fees and costs and ordered prospective fines of $10,000, in addition to daily fines, if Arbah continued not to comply with the court’s order.
The Employer operated the Meadowlands View Hotel in North Bergen, New Jersey. The employees —room attendants, porters, drivers, maintenance, cooks, waiters, waitresses, and dishwashers—were represented by the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO (the Union). In February 2020, the Employer subcontracted their work and falsely blamed the Union for their layoffs.
In April 2021, the United States District Court issued an order granting the injunctive relief, thus requiring Arbah to recognize and bargain with the Union over a successor collective-bargaining agreement and over the terms of a preferential hiring list. The order also required Arbah to offer reinstatement to the unit employees as their positions became available, provide the information requested by the Union, mail the court order to the unit employees, and to post the court order at the hotel when it reopens.
Because the Employer failed to comply with significant parts of the injunction, including the order to bargain over a successor contract and the terms of a preferential hiring list, District Court Judge John Michael Vazquez held Arbah in contempt, ordered Arbah to pay the NLRB’s attorneys’ fees and costs and imposed prospective fines in the case of continued noncompliance. Judge Vazquez also requested additional briefing on whether Arbah’s owner, Mark Wysocki, should be held personally liable for contempt of the order.
Regional Director Suzanne Sullivan noted, “This case serves as a cautionary tale for violators of the National Labor Relations Act: the NLRB will pursue all available remedies for employees who are victims of unfair labor practices under the NLRA and will vigorously pursue legal action to ensure that violators adhere to the court’s orders. I want to thank Field Attorney Sharon Chau and Acting Regional Attorney Julie Kaufman for their tireless work on this case.”
Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employees from unfair labor practices and protects the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB conducts hundreds of workplace elections and investigates thousands of unfair labor practice charges each year.