The National Labor Relations Board judge found that Goodwill Central Coast unlawfully fired the two forklift drivers and they accepted over $90,000 in total settlements. (The National Labor Relations Act protects employees acting together to improve their workplace conditions against employer retaliation.) As well, Judge Etchingham ordered a notice to be posted at Goodwill in English and Spanish for 60 days, saying the following:
“The National Labor Relations Board has found that we violated federal labor law” and informing them federal law gives employees the right to form, join or assist a union, choose representatives to bargain and act together with other employees for their benefit…We will not terminate you for talking to your co-workers about your wages, hours and other terms and conditions of your employment including complaints about supervisors in other departments and/or making allegations that a supervisor threatened you.”
Goodwill has reinstated both men and, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, both men loved having that sign posted on the wall. “I was happy we won,” Jesus Fernandez said. “At times we are afraid to say anything and we stay quiet. It’s better to say something because we have rights as workers.”
Walmart Wrongful Termination
A former director of business development at Walmart knows his rights and he too has said something. Tri Huynh claims that Walmart wrongfully terminated him after he raised concerns – on several occasions—about the company’s “overly aggressive push to show meteoric growth in its e-commerce business by any means possible -- even, illegitimate ones.” Bloomberg (March 16) reported that Huynh’s lawsuit, filed in San Francisco federal court, accuses Walmart of whistle-blower retaliation, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination, and wrongful termination.
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National Labor Relations Board and Walmart
Back in 2014 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint against Walmart, accusing the company of unlawfully firing workers after they participated in nationwide protests and strikes seeking higher wages. The NLRB accused Walmart of making unlawful threats of retaliation to employees, twice on national television and in statements at specific stores. The National Labor Relations Act protects all workers, blue collar and white collar, union and non-union, whenever they engage in specific activities such as protests concerned with better work conditions and wages.