Tygart Center employee’s NLRB charges challenged scheme which gave union stewards more pay than other employees in clear violation of federal law
Fairmont, WV (August 5, 2020) – In a case brought for Donna Harper by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 6 has issued an amended complaint against Teamsters Local 175 for imposing a discriminatory pay scheme on Harper and her coworkers at Tygart Center at Fairmont Campus. Tygart Center agreed to this discriminatory pay arrangement in the union bargaining agreement.
In 2019 Harper obtained free legal aid from Foundation staff attorneys in filing charges against the union for imposing the unlawful provision, under which Teamsters union stewards were paid more per hour than other employees. NLRB Region 6 issued a complaint on this issue in June, and now has amended its complaint to ask for a more complete remedy. The complaint now “seeks an Order requiring payment to the unit employees of the amount equal to the additional monetary benefit paid to” shop stewards under the policy.
NLRB Region 6’s amended complaint now incorporates a remedy requested by Foundation staff attorneys in a separate case against the Tygart Center for the role it played in the scheme. In the NLRB-imposed settlement in that case, Tygart Center officials agreed to only stop paying Teamsters union stewards more per hour than other employees going forward. Foundation attorneys had argued that employees should have gotten compensation for the difference in pay in the past created by the illegal scheme because it “denied a benefit to every employee who was not a Union steward.”
The case against the Teamsters will now be tried before an NLRB Administrative Law Judge.
Foundation staff attorneys also filed an amicus brief for Harper in the years-long legal battle waged by AFL-CIO union lawyers to overturn West Virginia’s Right to Work law. Under a Right to Work law, no private or public sector employee can be forced to fund union activities as a condition of getting or keeping a job. This protection was unanimously upheld by the West Virginia Supreme Court in April 2020.
“Ms. Harper stood up against a blatantly discriminatory policy enforced by her employer at the behest of Teamsters union bosses, and this amended complaint puts her one step closer to ensuring her and other Tygart Center employees’ rights are vindicated,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “That Teamsters bosses were willing to impose a scheme so clearly illegal demonstrates how out of touch they are with the rank-and-file workers they claim to represent, and how accustomed they had become to an environment where workers had to financially support them or be fired.”
Mix added: “Fortunately, because Mountain State workers now have the protection of Right to Work, West Virginia union bosses have to secure the voluntary support of workers instead of being allowed to threaten workers to pay up or be fired.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.