Sunday, March 13, 2011

NLRB Acting General Counsel Vows More Effective Backpay Remedies for Illegally Discharged Employees

National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, announced this past week guidelines to help employees who are illegally discharged receive full compensation in backpay awards (or, as us lawyers call it, a "make-whole remedy"). From the NLRB press release on the announcement:
Mr. Solomon issued a memo outlining new methods for calculating backpay that includes daily compounded interest as recently ordered by the Board, and compensates for such things as expenses to search for employment and tax penalties for lump sum payments.

In a second memo, he urged reconsideration of two 2007 Board decisions that require illegally discharged employees to start looking for a new job within two weeks of being fired, and shifted the burden from the wrongdoer to the General Counsel to prove that they have diligently pursued work throughout the backpay period. Earnings from these other jobs are deducted from backpay awards.

The actions announced today are part of an ongoing initiative to ensure that unfair labor practices are more fairly and effectively remedied.

Mr. Solomon directed officials in the agency’s 31 regional offices to identify cases in the field that could be used as vehicles to ask the Board to reconsider the 2007 decisions - Grosvenor Resort, 350 NLRB 1197 (2007), and St. George Warehouse, 351 NLRB 961 (2007).

Bravo, Solomon!

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