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The court's standard of review affords great deference to the National Labor Relations Board's (Board) affirmation of an administrative law judge's findings. The court will enforce the Board's order if the Board has correctly applied the law and its factual findings are supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole, even if it might have reached a different decision had the matter been before it de novo. The question of credibility of witnesses and the weight to be given their testimony in labor cases is primarily one for determination by the trier of facts.
Town & Country Electric, Inc. (Town & Country), a nonunion contractor from Wisconsin, obtained a contract to do electrical work in International Falls, Minnesota. In the course of hiring Minnesota-licensed electricians, Town & Country refused to interview two full-time union organizers and eight union members. It hired one union member, whom it later discharged. The Board found that Town & Country violated sections 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act), 29 U.S.C. §§ 158(a)(1) & (a)(3), by refusing to interview the applicants because of their union affiliation and by discharging the one hire for his union activities at the jobsite. Town & Country challenged the Board’s findings and the Board filed an application to enforce its order.
Should the Board’s application to enforce its order be granted?
The court of appeals denied Town & Country’s application and enforced the order. The court of appeals held that the Board’s findings were supported by substantial evidence and Town & Country violated the act with respect to the applicants it refused to interview and consider for hire. The court of appeals also held that the record supported the rejection of Town & Country’s defenses and that Town & Country failed to establish that it discharged the employee on the basis of his level of productivity.