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NLRB Rules that Racism is a Protected Activity


ConfrontationAlthough no one reading this article would disagree with the premise that employers cannot and should not tolerate bigotry from anyone in their workforce, the NLRB apparently thinks otherwise.  In a troubling decision handed down earlier this month, National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Administrative Law Judge Thomas M. Randazzo ruled that Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (“Cooper Tire”) violated the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) when it terminated an employee who hurled racist epithets at African-American replacement workers while the employee was on a picket line.  (See Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Case 08–CA–087155. June 5, 2015)Incredulously, Judge Randazzo then fashioned a remedial order that required Cooper Tire to rehire the racist employee and pay him back pay – wages he would have earned had he not been terminated.  Considering that the employee was terminated in March of 2012, Cooper Tire may have to pay the racist employee more than three years of wages. (Continue reading).