Region 5 Obtains Settlement Requiring Employer to Pay $250,000 in Backpay, Expunge Unlawful Discipline, and Issue Letter of Apology
On November 2, 2021, the Honorable Administrative Judge Andrew S. Gollin approved a settlement agreement requiring that Tito Contractors, Inc.:
- Pay $250,000 in backpay to nine former employees;
- Expunge their employment records of any reference to their unlawful disciplines and discharges;
- Issue a personal letter of apology to each former employee; and
- Proceed with an expedited default process for resolution in case of noncompliance.
The settlement agreement resolves multi-year litigation against Tito Contractors, a Washington, D.C. company, that began with several charges filed by the Charging Party Union, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, AFL-CIO, District Council 51 (the Union), between December 2013 and August 2014. The Union alleged that Tito Contractors’ supervisors acted unlawfully by:
- Discharging nine employees;
- Interrogating employees about their protected activities;
- Threatening employees with discharge, loss of overtime, and immigration-related reprisals for engaging in protected activities; and
- Creating the impression that employees’ protected activities were under surveillance.
Region 5 of the National Labor Relations Board found merit to the Union’s allegations, issued complaint, and vigorously litigated those unfair labor practices. The Region obtained a favorable Administrative Law Judge Decision in 2014, which was adopted by the Board in 2018. In 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia enforced the Board’s Decision and Order. Subsequently, Tito Contractors posted remedial notices in its DC and Baltimore locations but contested the backpay amount.
A compliance hearing to determine backpay owed commenced before Judge Gollin on September 9, 2021 and was set to resume on November 1, 2021. However, the parties agreed to resolve the remaining dispute through a Board settlement agreement.
“This settlement demonstrates the General Counsel’s commitment to obtaining robust remedies for violations of the Act, including both monetary and non-monetary relief,” said Regional Director Sean R. Marshall. “I’m very proud of the many NLRB Region 5 agents who helped bring about this settlement that delivers long sought justice to the discriminatees in the case.”
In addition to the remedies described above, the General Counsel also served as a certifying law enforcement agency for U visa applications as part of its investigation and prosecution of this case. The General Counsel also worked with the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to enhance protections for witnesses in the compliance proceedings.
Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employees, employers, and unions 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. Region 5 serves areas in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia from its Regional Office in Baltimore and its Resident Office in the District of Columbia.