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|NLRB can require employer
reimburse union's attorney fees
Ampersand Publishing (9th Cir 08/11/2022)
Sent to Custom Alerts™
subscribers on 08/12/2022
The 9th Circuit has enforced an
NLRB compliance order requiring an employer to reimburse a union
for legal fees incurred during the collective bargaining process.
The Board found that the employer committed unfair labor
practices and engaged in unusually aggravated misconduct. During
collective bargaining the employer discontinued its merit pay
raise program, transferred bargaining unit work to non-union
temporary employees without notice, discharged two employees, and
engaged in bad-faith bargaining with the union.
found this conduct was sufficient to warrant more than a
traditional remedy, and ordered the employer to reimburse the
union for the costs and expenses the union incurred during
collective bargaining sessions.
The D.C. Circuit upheld the
Board's findings and enforced its unfair labor practice order in
Later, the NLRB issued a compliance order that
specified that the union's costs and expenses included the union's
attorney fees related to the unfair labor practices. The Board
then applied to the 9th Circuit for enforcement of the compliance
order, and the 9th Circuit enforced the order.
The 9th Circuit said:
The NLRA grants the Board "broad discretion to impose remedies
for unfair labor practices." The Board may take any "affirmative
action" that "will effectuate the policies" of the Act. The award
of legal fees in this case is exactly the sort of remedy that
courts have upheld as within the Board's statutory remedial
authority. Prior adjudications have established that [the
employer] committed an unfair labor practice by refusing to
bargain with the Union in good faith. This remedy is directly
targeted at [the employer's] violation, compensating the Union
for "the resources that were wasted because of the [company's]
unlawful conduct" and "restor[ing] the economic strength that is
necessary to ensure a return to the status quo ante at the
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