By Mark Kobata
Jun. 3, 2014
Murtis Taylor Human Services Systems called employee Christine Zeh into an interview to investigate Zeh’s Medicaid billing work and possible misuse of sick-leave benefits. Another employee, union delegate Alton Hill, also attended the interview to represent Zeh. When the company’s human resources director would not state the company’s concerns and would only refer to Zeh’s possible “conflict of interest,” Hill repeatedly asked for clarification and advised Zeh not to answer the questions. Following the interview, Hill was suspended for “obstructing” the company’s investigation.
Hill filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that Murtis interfered with his right to serve as Zeh’s representative. The NLRB held that Hill had a right to press the employer for clarification of its charges against Zeh, and that Hill had not obstructed the employer’s interview of Zeh. While Hill had advised Zeh not to answer particular questions, he had not interfered with Zeh’s giving answers, and she made the decision whether to answer the questions. Murtis Taylor Human Services Systems, 360 NLRB No. 66 (March 25, 2014).
Impact: Employers may not generally discipline an employee union delegate for advising an employee during an investigative interview.
James E. Hall, Mark T. Kobata and Marty Denis are partners in the law firm Barlow, Kobata and Denis, which has offices in Los Angeles and Chicago. To comment, email email@example.com. Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.
We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.
ComplianceMinimum Wage by State in 2022 – All You Need to Know
Summary The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25, but the rate is higher in 30 states, along with Washing...
federal law, minimum wage, pay rates, state law, wage law compliance
LegalCalifornia’s push for a 32-hour workweek explained, and how to prepare
Summary: California is considering a 32-hour workweek bill for businesses with over 500 staff 4 day wee...
32 hour workweek, 4 day workweek, california, legislature, overtime
LegalA business owner’s guide to restaurant tipping law
Business owners in the restaurant industry are in a unique position when it comes to employee tips. As ...
restaurants, tip laws, tipping