Region 22-Newark Wins $2.3 Million for Three Unlawfully Discharged Employees of Mondelez Global, LLC
In March, three former employees of Mondelez Global, LLC (Mondelez) received a monetary award totaling $2.3 million, resulting from a 2020 NLRB Decision finding that they were unlawfully suspended and terminated in retaliation for their Union support or otherwise engaging in protected concerted activities.
Mondelez operates bakery production plants throughout the world and employed the employees at its Fair Lawn, New Jersey bakery where Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers, and other baked goods were produced under the Nabisco brand. The three employees in this case were icing mixers and floor helpers at the plant and were active in the Union for many years prior to their unlawful discharges.
In 2020, the Board issued its Decision and Order (369 NLRB No. 46) in this case, and the Board’s Order was enforced by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in July 2021. Respondent was ordered to, among other things, offer reinstatement to the three discriminatees and make them whole for their loss of earnings and other benefits, compensate them for adverse tax consequences, file a report allocating the monetary award to the appropriate calendar year, expunge their unlawful suspensions and discharges from their files and notify them in writing that this was done, and post and distribute a Notice to Employees informing them of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act and affirming that those rights will not be violated by the Employer. The Employer permanently closed its Fair Lawn bakery in July 2021, an action unrelated to this case.
Upon issuance of the favorable Court judgment, the Region commenced its compliance investigation, which involved intensive enforcement efforts. On March 11, 2022, the Employer agreed to a Compliance Stipulation approved by Region 22. In the Stipulation, Mondelez, among other things, paid the three employees a lump sum monetary award totaling $2,313,126, expunged all references to the unlawful suspensions and discharges from their files, and mailed a Notice to Employees. The three employees waived reinstatement at any of the Employer’s other facilities.
“This case shows that the NLRB’s efforts in enforcing the Act can and will achieve corrective outcomes that create incentives for all employers to comply with the letter and the spirit of the law. Effective employee reinstatement, substantial monetary awards and other make-whole remedies all ensure that employees’ rights to join, form and assist unions, and to engage in other protected, concerted activities, are fully realized,” said Region 22 Director Suzanne Sullivan. “The Region and the Agency applaud the outstanding and dedicated efforts of Senior Trial Attorney Tara Levy, Regional Attorney Richard Fox (since retired), Compliance Officer Rhonda Fricke, and Compliance Supervisor David Turner.”
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 22 serves areas in New Jersey from its Regional Office in Newark.