Concerted activity story
Concerted activity story
Employees at an Oakland based internet software company were discharged through a layoff soon after they raised group concerns about changes to their working conditions. The NLRB issued a complaint alleging that the discharges were unlawful because the employees’ collective activities were protected.
A group of employees at a non-profit animal sanctuary, had conversations complaining about several executives of the organization, including how the founder was verbally abusive and yelled at employees. Two days later, two of the employees were fired. During conversations with the employees, the founder and the president made statements that gave them the impression that their private conversations complaining about the founder’s treatment of employees had been under surveillance.
For many months, a school bus driver and some of her colleagues complained to management about the unruly behavior of students on their school buses. Students reportedly kicked, pushed, struck and spit at drivers. The driver met with a local television news reporter and described in detail the students’ behavior, the hazards it posed for drivers and management’s failure to respond to driver complaints about the issue. After the interview aired, the company fired the bus driver.
Five employees of Hispanics United of Buffalo, which provides social services to low-income clients, were fired after they posted comments on Facebook concerning working conditions, including work load and staffing issues.
An employee was fired by a long-term acute care hospital in Chicago after filing a grievance regarding the treatment of employees who return from medical leave. The NLRB determined that the employee had engaged in protected concerted activities and called for a hearing before an administrative law judge. Prior to the hearing, the employer and employee reached a settlement agreement providing the employee with his full backpay.
When a heavy thunderstorm hit one March afternoon, 13 workers building the foundation of a luxury hotel retreated to a trailer to wait out the downpour. Supervisors ordered them back to work, but the workers refused, citing health and safety concerns, and were fired on the spot. After the regional NLRB office found sufficient evidence to call for a hearing, the contractor settled with the workers by offering backpay and reinstatement.
The employer maintained a overly broad social media policy unlawfully restricting employees' discussions about terms and conditions of employment and required that employees sign a copy of the policy or be fired. One worker was discharged after raising concerns with co-workers about this policy and for refusing to sign it. After the regional NLRB office found that the employer’s social media policy unduly restricted employees' rights under the National Labor Relations Act and that the employer unlawfully discharged the employee who had raised concerns with her co-workers and refused to sign the policy, the employer settled the case by reinstating the discharged employee with full backpay, rescinding the unlawful portions of their social media policy, and posting a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
In April 2012, a group of employees walked off the production line to protest the speed of the line and other working conditions, and thereafter met with the plant manager. That evening, the employees again met with the plant manager, to discuss their compensation and other matters. One month later, when the Employer learned that another work stoppage was planned, three employees were separately called into the office and dismissed.
Supervisors at a cheese processing facility held a meeting of all the company’s employees, informing them that they would be receiving merit- based wage increases. The supervisors told the employees that they were prohibited from discussing the extent of their pay increases, stating that anyone found to have discussed their raise with co-workers would be fired.
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.