On August 5, 2020, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 6 put out a revised complaint against Teamsters Local 175 for subjecting Donna Harper and her coworkers to a discriminatory pay scheme on Harper and her coworkers at Tygart Center at Fairmont Campus. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation provided legal counsel to Harper.
Back in 2019, Harper received free legal counsel from Foundation staff attorneys when she filed charges against the union for mandating the illegal provision which enabled Teamsters union bosses to be paid more hourly than other employees. NLRB Region 6 put out a complaint on the matter in June and has now changed its complaint to ask for more robust forms of restitution. The complaint now “seeks an Order requiring payment to the unit employees of the amount equal to the additional monetary benefit paid to” shop managers under the policy.
The amended complaint in NLRB Region 6 now features a remedy requested by Foundation staff attorneys in another case against the Tygart Center for its involvement in the scheme. In the settlement that the NLRB imposed in that case, Tygart Center officials acquiesced to only stop paying Teamsters union bosses more hourly than other employees from there on out. At the time, Foundation attorneys maintained that employees should have received compensation for the pay disparity in the past generated by the illegal practice due to how it “denied a benefit to every employee who was not a Union steward.”
The case being filed against the Teamsters is now being tried before an NLRB Administrative Law Judge.
In addition, Foundation staff attorneys filed an amicus brief for Harper in the multiple years of legal struggle carried out by AFL-CIO union lawyers who were working to overturn West Virginia’s Right to Work law. For states under Right to Work laws, private or public sector employees can be compelled to finance union activities as a condition of employment. The West Virginia Supreme Court unanimously upheld this protection 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,”stated 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 continued: “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.”