migs brief - ISSUES: In the case of Zak Jones termination...

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ISSUES: In the case of Zak Jones’ termination and ensuing unfair labor practice charge, the main issue is whether or not Sunburst Coffee interfered with its employees’ Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act, which would amount to an unfair labor practice under Section 8(a)(1). More specifically, the issue is whether or not Zak’s termination amounted to interference with the employees’ right “to engage in . .. activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection” Furthermore, there is the issue of whether or not Zak Jones can even be considered an employee in the full-sense because of his paid position within a labor organization. The employee will likely allege that employer, Sunburst, engaged in an unfair labor practice by interfering with his Section 7 rights to be involved with activities for the mutual aid and/or protection at work. So, if Jones’ confrontation with the employer amounts to an action that is protected by Section 7 of the N.L.R.A., the relevant issue becomes whether his demands were in fact for the interest of the whole of Sunburst employees, not just himself. If the employer is found to have committed an unfair labor practice, there then becomes an issue of how the owed back pay should be calculated. FACTS : Zak Jones is a member of a union and sought employment with Sunburst as part of an organizing campaign. Jones did not make his involvement with a union known to his employer at the time he accepted a job offer. The union to which Jones belongs was willing to keep Jones on the payroll by making up for all lost wages by accepting a job with Sunburst. Jones approached a fellow employee, Smith, about possibly organizing.
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Smith expressed a lack of interest in unionizing. On July 1 st , after another employee was burned by the cappuccino machine, the day shift employees confronted their manager about the machine. The manager denied that the accident was because of any unreasonably safe condition, but rather due to the victim’s carelessness. The day shift employees (Smith, Jones and Kirk) discussed the accident and agreed the machine was in fact dangerous. Jones volunteered to discuss the issue with the manager on behalf of the employees. Jones informed the manager that the day shift employees noticed the dangers involved with the coffee machine and insisted that the manager bring in a safety inspector. The Sunburst manager fired Jones, accusing him of making excuses to avoid work. EMPLOYEE ARGUMENT : Zak Jones, the employee, and the N.L.R.B., filing a complaint on his behalf will likely allege that Sunburst interfered with the employees’ Section 7 rights to collective action for mutual protection and aid. This is an unfair labor practice under Section 8(a) (1) of the N.L.R.A. . The board will assert that Jones’ actions were concerted activity, citing the Meyers Industry test, which requires that the activity "be engaged in with, or on the authority of, other employees, and not solely by and on behalf of the employee
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2009 for the course ILRCB 3020 at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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migs brief - ISSUES: In the case of Zak Jones termination...

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