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Region 29-Brooklyn Obtains Settlement Requiring Queens Defenders to Pay $60,000 in Backpay, Frontpay, and Consequential Damages

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On January 24, 2022, the Honorable Administrative Judge Benjamin Green approved a settlement agreement requiring that Queens Law Associates d/b/a Queens Defenders:

  • Pay $60,000 in backpay, frontpay, and consequential damages to a former employee;
  • Expunge any reference to her unlawful discharge in her employment record and provide her with neutral job references; and
  • Read, post, and email a remedial notice to employees, and distribute the notice to supervisors.

The settlement agreement resolves litigation against Queens Law Associates, a public defender servicer in Queens, New York that began with a charge filed by the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW, Local 2325 on March 29, 2021. The Union alleged that Queens Law Associates acted unlawfully by:

  • Discharging an employee because of her support for and activities on behalf of the Union;
  • Asking employees to ascertain and disclose to the employer the Union sympathies of applicants for employment;
  • Interrogating employees about their union activities;
  • Soliciting employees’ work-related complaints and grievances and promising employees increased benefits and improved terms and conditions of employment if they refrained from union organizational activities;
  • Threatening employees with a heavier and less desirable workload, unspecified reprisals, impediments to their career advancement, withholding of employees’ rewards for work, stricter disciplinary procedures, and closer supervision because of their union activities; and
  • Informing employees that they moved up an employee’s last day of work because of her union activities.

Region 29 of the National Labor Relations Board found merit to the Union’s allegations, issued complaint, and vigorously litigated those unfair labor practices. After the unfair labor practice hearing completed and prior to the Administrative Law Judge’s recommended decision, the parties agreed to resolve the dispute through a Board settlement agreement.

“This settlement demonstrates the General Counsel’s continued commitment to obtaining robust remedies for violations of the Act, including both monetary and non-monetary relief,” said Region 29 Regional Director Kathy Drew King. “I thank the Regional office staff who helped bring about this settlement that delivers justice to the individual in the case. We will continue to vigorously defend all workers’ Section 7 rights.”  

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 29 serves areas in New York from its Regional Office in Brooklyn.