If you’ve been paying attention to legal compliance issues, you know that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been a thorn in the side of many, many employers in the past few years. The following case is illustrative:
Nick Aguirre was a car salesman in Arizona. He met with two managers and the dealership’s owner to voice his concerns over wages, commissions, and break times. When the owner told him that if he did not like the conditions he could find work elsewhere, Mr. Aguirre unleashed a string of obscenities at his superiors (including a few f-bombs and an a-hole). Not surprisingly, he was fired. Earlier this week, the NLRB ordered Mr. Aguirre reinstated.
According to the 2-1 ruling by the Board, Mr. Aguirre is entitled to the protections of the NLRB notwithstanding his behavior, because he was discussing working conditions and was responding to “extremely provocative acts” by the owner. The Board further noted Mr. Aguirre did not touch anyone during his outburst, nor did he threaten to physically harm anyone. The dissenting Board member pointed out that the decision implies “that the Act mandates tolerance of