What’s Brewing at Starbucks? Labor Law Litigation Over Employee Terminations

Starbucks remains in the headlines for the nationwide union push enveloping a lot of its cafés. In actual fact, simply final week, a store in Colorado joined the record of unionized areas. Along with preventing union organizing, it now seems the espresso large will probably be defending litigation filed by the Nationwide Labor Relations Board (NLRB) associated to some worker discharges.

In response to a recent NLRB press release:

“On April 22, 2022, NLRB Region 28 Regional Director Cornele Overstreet petitioned in United States District Court for injunctive relief for victims of unfair labor practices in three cases involving Starbucks retaliating against members of the union organizing committee. Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act authorizes the National Labor Relations Board to seek injunctions against employers and unions in federal district courts to stop unfair labor practices where, due to the passage of time, the normal Board processes are likely to be inadequate to effectively remedy the alleged violations. The petition explains that after learning its employees were engaging in protected activity, the Employer swiftly retaliated against three of the four members of the union organizing committee. Among other things, Starbucks disciplined, suspended, and discharged one employee, constructively discharged another, and placed a third on an unpaid leave of absence after revoking recently granted accommodations. Among other remedies, Regional Director Overstreet is asking the court to immediately reinstate these employees with their usual schedules and accommodations, expunge disciplines from their records, and post, distribute, and read the District Court’s Order.” 

In brief, the NLRB alleges Starbucks improperly terminated staff for union actions and the company is seeking an injunction below Part 10(j) of the Nationwide Labor Relations Act. The Board traditionally has had a lot success with a majority of these actions. In 2021 over 90 % of Part 10(j) instances initiated by the NLRB had been both granted or settled on phrases acceptable to the Board. Although in fiscal yr 2020, that quantity was 100%. 10(j) actions are usually expensive for firms, as firms normally are defending allegations earlier than the NLRB and federal courtroom concurrently as soon as a ten(j) petition is filed.

The union points at Starbucks don’t present any signal of cooling down – actually, with this newest growth, they could simply be heating up. Keep tuned.  

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