A group of poultry workers walked off the job to protest a new requirement that they pay 50 cents per pair for the latex gloves they used on the line. As the workers gathered at a nearby church, two women told their story to a local newspaper and were quoted by name. They were soon fired. The case ultimately went before the Board, which found the firings were unlawful because they punished concerted activity that was protected.
One of the women was fired by Case Farms of North Carolina, Inc. on the same day that a company Human Resources official read the newspaper article. The second was suspended the following day and fired three days later. The employer said both terminations were for legitimate reasons unrelated to the newspaper article or the work stoppage. However, in charges filed with the NLRB regional office in Winston-Salem, the workers claimed they were punished for speaking up for themselves and fellow employees.
After an investigation, the NLRB agreed with the fired workers and called for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, who found that the discharges were unlawful because they retaliated against protected concerted activity. That decision was appealed to the Board in Washington D.C.
The Board agreed that the firings were unlawful and ordered full backpay and reinstatement for one of the employees, Luz R. Because the immigration status of the second employee, Evodia D., was in doubt, the Board ordered that she be offered reinstatement if she could establish that she was legally able to work in the United States.
Case Farms appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. With the help of a volunteer mediator, a settlement was reached in which Luz R. received $20,000 in backpay and waived reinstatement. No reinstatement or backpay was provided to Evodia D.