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Retaliation protection extends to employee’s family

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Michael Flannery was a pro-union employee at a baking plant where his wife was a supervisor. Soon after Flannery joined in an organizing drive, managers told him that his actions were "not helping (his wife's) chances of staying on day work." A week later, she was put on the night shift and demoted. Flannery sued and won his wife's reinstatement to her old job on the day shift. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said retaliation against a relative of a union organizer violated the National Labor Relations Act. In quoting another ruling, the court said retaliation by hurting a worker's family "is an ancient method of revenge." (Tasty Baking Co. v. NLRB, No. 00-1030A, D.C. Cir., 2001)

Our advice: Don't even think about punishing workers by lashing out at their relatives who also work for you.

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