Two former Purple Communications employees have settled with the Company following an NLRB action for their wrongful discharge. The two video relay interpreters had been working at the Long Beach center during a union organizing drive by Pacific Media Workers Guild and Communications Workers of America.
Purple had claimed the two employees engaged in hostile or threatening speech when discussing working conditions set upon them by the employer. The employees claimed they were targeted for speech related to union activity. Our union provided assistance to the employees after they were discharged.
Having considered the employees’ claims, an administrative law judge ordered Purple to reinstate the employees with back pay. However, Purple appealed the decision and a trial date was set for July 20, 2015. Settlement talks then occurred, and the parties agreed on certain payments to the two employees, who were discharged on May 23, 2014.
Here is a summary of the settlement:
- Notices of the Settlement Agreement will be posted for 60 days at the Long Beach Facility and on Purple’s intranet system for 60 days;
- Email notice of the Settlement Agreement will be sent to all employees who worked at the Long Beach facility;
- Monetary awards will be provided to two claimants including backpay, mileage reimbursement, interest, excess tax, frontpay, and FICA; and in exchange for this the two claimants waive all rights to reinstatement with Purple;
- The parties agree that there is no admission of wrong-doing under the National Labor Relations Act (“the Act”).
Purple is to post the following notice:
FEDERAL LAW GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO:
- Form, join, or assist a union;
- Choose a representative to bargain with us on your behalf;
- Act together with other employees for your benefit and protection;
- Choose not to engage in any of these protected activities.
WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner interfere with your rights under Section 7 of the Act.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to discuss wages, hours and working conditions with other employees and WE WILL NOT do anything to interfere with your exercise of that right.
WE WILL NOT suspend, terminate or lay off employees because they exercise their rights to discuss wages, hours, and working conditions with other employees.
WE WILL NOT prohibit you from discussing your suspension and any investigation related to your suspension with other employees at any time.
WE WILL make Renee Souleret and Krystal Armstrong (Discriminatees) whole for any loss of earnings and other benefits they suffered as a result of our discrimination against them, plus interest.
WE WILL remove from our files any references to the suspension on May 19, 2014 and terminations on May 23, 2014 of Renee Souleret and Krystal Armstrong and WE WILL notify each of them in writing that we have done so and that the suspensions and terminations will not be used against them in any way.
This settlement is a victory for ASLIU and all video relay interpreters. Everyone has the freedom to speak about working conditions and support of union activity.
If you feel you have experienced any discriminatory behavior or intimidation from your employer as it relates to discussing working conditions or union activity, rest assured you have the support of your union – Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521.
Please contact Pacific Media Workers Guild representative, Martin Yost at 619-847-0327 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about your rights in the workplace.