Legal

Legal Briefing: The Housekeeper, The Cashier and Concerted Activity

By

Sep. 1, 2014

Michael Dela Paz, while working as a housekeeper for hospital employer Dignity Health in Nevada, was suspended after Habiba Araru, a cafeteria cashier, complained that Dela Paz had threatened to “take care of” her.

Dela Paz was instructed not to contact employees during his suspension, and after he was reinstated was warned not to retaliate against Araru. Despite management’s instructions, Dela Paz asked co-workers to sign documents attesting to his good character and Araru’s sullenness or disrespect for employees. When Dela Paz’s petition stimulated support from employees because other workers were unhappy with Araru, Dela Paz took the petition signed by employees to a supervisor. Dela Paz was terminated for violating the instruction not to retaliate against Araru.

The National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint alleging that Dignity Health fired Dela Paz for engaging in protected concerted activity in violation of federal law, and after a hearing the NLRB agreed that Dela Paz was fired illegally because he had engaged in concerted activities. Other employees had problems with Araru, and therefore Dela Paz’s conduct was “unquestionably concerted.” Dignity Health, 360 N.L.R.B. No. 126 (June 12, 2014).

IMPACT: Employee complaints about another co-worker, when brought on behalf of other employees, can be considered protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act.

What’s New at Workforce.com?

blog workforce

Come see what we’re building in the world of predictive employee scheduling, superior labor insights and next-gen employee apps. We’re on a mission to automate workforce management for hourly employees and bring productivity, optimization and engagement to the frontline.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Compliance

Minimum Wage by State in 2023 – All You Need to Know

Summary Twenty-three states and D.C. raised their minimum wage rates in 2023, effective January 1.  Thr...

federal law, minimum wage, pay rates, state law, wage law compliance

workforce blog

Legal

New Labor Laws Taking Effect in 2023

The new year is fast approaching, and with its arrival comes a host of new labor laws that will impact ...

labor laws, minimum wage, wage and hour law

workforce blog

Legal

Wage and Hour Laws in 2022: What Employers Need to Know

Whether a mom-and-pop shop with a handful of employees or a large corporation staffing thousands, compl...

compliance, wage and hour law