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Region 19-Seattle Obtains Settlement Agreement with Simms Fishing Products with Consequential Damages and Strong Notice Posting Provisions

Office of Public Affairs

On June 7, 2022, Region 19-Seattle Regional Director Ronald K. Hooks approved a settlement agreement requiring that Simms Fishing Products—a manufacturer and seller of fly-fishing gear and apparel in Bozeman, Montana:

  • Post both the Notice to Employees and the Employee Rights poster for 60 days.
  • Post both the Notice and the Employee Rights poster on the Employer’s intranet site for 60 days, with access provided to the Region’s compliance officer/assistant in order to monitor the electronic posting.
  • Email both the Notice and the Employee Rights poster to all employees who worked at the facility for at any time over the past year.
  • Pay 100% backpay plus front pay to the discriminatee, along with health benefits, 401k contributions, and a monthly $650 bonus.
  • Reimburse the discriminatee’s consequential damages (additional mileage to commute to interim employment, as well as mileage and parking for a job search).

The settlement agreement resolves charges alleging that the employer suspended and discharged a production employee for discussing workplace issues and advocating for her daughters, who also worked in production at the company; unlawfully instructed the employee to refrain from "inserting herself" in workplace issues involving other employees; and unlawfully instructed one of the employee’s daughters to only speak with her supervisors about any workplace issues and concerns. The employer imposed these instructions when the employee raised a leave request involving her daughters with management, and again later when she discussed concerns with her daughters during a break, about work being taken away from one of her daughters and other work assignment and training concerns.

“Regardless of union status, the National Labor Relations Act gives workers the right to advocate for better working conditions for themselves and their co-workers,” said Region 19 Regional Director Ronald K. Hooks. “I’m proud of my staff for pursuing this settlement, which includes strong notice posting provisions and the consequential damages necessary to fully make-whole the victims of unfair labor practices.”

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 19 serves areas in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington from its Regional Office in Seattle and Subregional Office in Portland.