Michael Pepperman Discusses NLRB GC’s Settlement Push in an Interview with Law360

July 14, 2022

Michael Pepperman, Chair of Obermayer’s Labor Relations and Employment Law Department, was interviewed by Law360 Employment Authority in connection with Abruzzo’s newest memo detailing the remedies the regional offices she oversees have negotiated as part of an earlier initiative to seek “full remedies” in settlement agreements resolving unfair labor practice allegations. The list included several novel remedies, such as paying back an employee for late car loan payments and covering the cost of baby formula for a worker who could no longer access a breast pumping station. It particularly highlighted the effort to pursue consequential damages in board settlements, including one settlement requiring a party to make payments to cover interest on a loan taken out by a worker who was discriminated against.

In the article, titled “NLRB GC’s Settlement Push Already Being Felt, Attys Say,” published on July 12, 2022, Michael shared that the board’s regional offices have been bolder in seeking remedies in settlement agreements, including some unique remedies like consequential damages.

“These are not remedies that were ordinarily sought, in my experience, until recently,” Michael said.

Michael also added that regional offices have also been adamant about keeping nonadmissions clauses out of agreements. Those provisions may have been common under earlier board leadership, but it is now increasingly difficult for employers to settle a case while maintaining that they did not violate the National Labor Relations Act.

“Regional offices have also insisted that agreements feature specific default language, Michael said, which covers situations when a party does not comply with the terms of a settlement agreement. When default language is included in a settlement and a party does not comply with the agreement, board prosecutors can ask the board for summary judgment on the complaint and the charged party automatically admits the allegations.”