Employer Must Pay Back Wages to Union Organizer It Refused to Hire Due to Union Status
Description Appeals court upheld NLRB decision against an employer who refused to hire a worker who let the employer know that he was a union organizer who would attempt to organize the workers. The employer unfairly discriminated against the worker and must pay him back wages despite his being on the union payroll at the time.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words Unfair Labor Practices; Organizing Activity; Backpay; Salting
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Carr, a full-time union organizer, sought employment as an electrician at a construction site where Ferguson Electric was working. Carr alerted Ferguson as to his status as a union organizer and his intention to organize the jobsite. If Ferguson had hired him, he would have also remained in the employ of the union. As a union employee, Carr was only allowed to work at non-union sites in an effort to organize the workers, a practice known as salting. Ferguson refused to hire Carr. The union filed an unfair labor practice for refusing to hire Carr on the basis of his union status. The NLRB held the company violated the NLRA and ordered Ferguson to stop discriminating, to offer to hire Carr, and pay him back wages for the time he would have worked at Ferguson. Ferguson appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The award was proper. The fact that Carr would have also been on the union payroll does not affect the wages he could have earned had he been on the Ferguson payroll. The fact that he only sought work at non-union jobsites is not sufficient to indicate that he did not attempt to mitigate damages from not being hired by Ferguson. The wages he earned from the union do not offset the wages he would have earned had Ferguson hired him as a full-time employee.
Citation NLRB v. Ferguson Electric Co., 2001 WL 122007 (2nd Cir., 2001)

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