Labor Law -- 2018

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. v. NLRB   (8th Circuit)

Challenging NLRB ruling that racist statements are not grounds for firing

The NAM filed amicus briefs in support of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company in its employment termination appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit. A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision reinstated a Cooper Tire employee who was fired for using racial epithets toward replacement workers on the picket line. After its first decision, the Eight Circuit reheard the case before all of the judges, and the NAM filed a second brief in support of Copper Tire. The NLRB cannot and should not protect discriminatory comments, regardless of where or when these comments were made. Employers have a moral and legal obligation to protect the employees' right to be free from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The NAM's briefs urged the Eighth Circuit to reverse the NLRB decision and establish that there is no statutory protection for racist or discriminatory statements made on the picket line. Protecting these statements is contrary to federal policies against discrimination and harassment. The court deferred to the NLRB's decision because the harassment took place in the context of picket-line activities during a strike. The court also ruled that the company did not need to fire the offending employee to comply with federal anti-discrimination law.

Related Documents:
NAM amicus brief  (September 29, 2017)
NAM amicus brief  (September 6, 2016)


© 2019 National Association of Manufacturers