Employer’s “Significant and Pervasive” Unfair Labor Practices Result in Special Remedies


In Sysco Grand Rapids, LLC, although the National Labor Relations Board declined to issue a remedial bargaining order against an employer who engaged in “pervasive unlawful conduct” during a union organizing campaign, it nonetheless imposed unusual remedies for such conduct.

The Board found that the passage of four years and turnover in the workforce during that time rendered a bargaining order likely unenforceable. Nonetheless, the Board held that several special remedies were warranted in light of the employer’s “significant and pervasive” unfair labor practices, in addition to the standard remedies of back pay and reinstatement. First, the Board ordered that the employer read the notice aloud during an all-hands meeting attended by two high-ranking management officials who were “personally and directly involved in unlawfully threatening employees.” Second, the Board ordered that the employer grant the union and its representative reasonable access to bulletin boards where notices to employees are posted, and to turn over names and addresses of current unit employees. Further, the Board ordered “equal time and facilities for the Union to respond” to any employer presentation “on the question of representation.”

There are two important takeaways here. First, where there is significant delay between an employer’s unfair labor practices aimed at union organizing and the Board’s decision, the current Board is less likely to order the employer to bargain with the union. Second, even absent a bargaining order, the Board may order that such an employer provide a number of remedies that may assist future union organizing efforts, including access to employer bulletin boards, names and addresses of new employees, and the ability to respond to employer presentations regarding unionization, among others.