"A kosher food product wholesaler in New York has agreed to settle a
long-running NLRB case by paying $186,000 to former employees who lost
their jobs in the midst of a union organizing campaign.
The settlement culminates a lengthy effort by the NLRB to enforce an
order that Flaum Appetizing Corp. provide backpay to 17 former employees
who were unlawfully discharged following a two-day strike. Flaum
contended it did not have to pay because the employees were undocumented
A decision in the case was issued by an Administrative Law Judge in February 2008,
and upheld by the Board on appeal in June 2009. It found that the
company committed multiple violations of federal labor law by
alternately threatening and making promises to employees to discourage
them from supporting the Industrial Workers of the World. The employer
then unlawfully refused to allow employees to return to work following a
two-day strike that the workers and union staged to protest the firing
of a co-worker.
Following the 2009 Board Order, the NLRB Regional Office in Brooklyn
calculated the amount of backpay owed by the employer. In response, the
employer claimed that the employees were owed no backpay because they
were ineligible to work, but failed to set forth facts to support its
claim. The Board, in a Supplemental Decision and Order in December 2011,
dismissed the employer’s defense because it did not show it had a good
faith basis to support its immigration-related claim. An Operations-Management memorandum issued to the regions last week offered further guidance.
The settlement was reached May 7, just before a Compliance Hearing
regarding the accumulating backpay was due to begin. The $186,000
represents 80% of the entire amount that the NLRB determined employees
would have earned had it not been for the unlawful discharges.
An additional agreement reached between Flaum and its former
employees settles a separate lawsuit filed regarding allegations of
unpaid overtime, bringing the total settlement amount to $577,000." - NLRB, May 9, 2012.