Thursday, June 26, 2014

Be Careful Firing Employees For Screaming At You

MY CAVEAT: In view of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling of June 26, 2014 (National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning et al., the following may be suspect as precedent for future decisions.
Note to small-business owners: Be very careful firing employees for screaming at you.

The invaluable Overlawyered blog alerts us to two recent decisions by the National Labor Relations Board. The first involved a staff meeting at a car dealership in Yuma, Ariz., where a worker lost his cool and called his supervisors -- well, let's just say several variations of the f-bomb. He stood up, shoved his chair aside and told them they'd regret it if they fired him.

He was duly fired... but the NLRB found his termination "an unlawful violation of the employee's rights to engage in the protected concerted activity."

Meanwhile, a man trying to unionize four Starbucks in Manhattan told a manager to go, umm, have self-induced carnal knowledge. In front of customers, he said this. For which he was duly fired.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports the NLRB ordered Starbucks to offer him his old job "or a substantially equivalent position, compensate him for any loss of earnings and other benefits and remove from its files any references to the unlawful firing."

We can only imagine how awkward that first day back might be...

Dave Gonigam, The 5 Min. Forecast, Agora Financial, June 25, 2014