Sharp decision by administrative law judge calls for unusually strong remedies
Last week, in an unusually strong decision, a judge within the government agency tasked with enforcing federal labor laws found that The Daily Grill violated its duty to bargain in good faith with UNITE HERE Local 11, the union for hotel and restaurant workers in Southern California.
Workers at the Daily Grill restaurant near Los Angeles International Airport voted to unionize with Local 11 in an election that was certified in 2019. However, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Administrative Law Judge Dickie Montemayor found that in the wake of the election the Daily Grill violated its duty to bargain by “failing to meet at reasonable times and confer in good faith, engaging in delay tactics, restricting the time available to bargain, engaging in surface and bad faith bargaining and refusing to bargain with the Union.”
Reacting to the decision, Kurt Petersen, the union’s co-president said: “The Daily Grill has thumbed its nose at worker rights laws for years. We are gratified that the NLRB judge saw this outrageous conduct for what it is and we look forward to helping these workers win the dignity and justice they deserve.”
In the sharp decision, Judge Montemayor noted the company agreed to meet with the union for “a mere 2 hours and 45 minutes” since February 2020, and that the “only item that the parties were able to come to agreement was a single provision which merely restated California overtime law requiring employees to be paid overtime if they work over 40 hours in a week.”
The judge concluded that unusually strong remedies were required to correct the Daily Grill’s bad-faith conduct. These include an order requiring the company to reimburse the union for its expenses because its actions caused the union to “waste resources in futile bargaining,” to return to the bargaining table for a minimum of 24 hours per month, and to make monthly reports to the NLRB office on its bargaining progress.
The judge’s decision could also boost another unusual effort the NLRB has made in this case. Companies can delay complying with NLRB decisions for years through appeals within the agency and to the federal courts. In this case, the NLRB requested that a federal district court issue an injunction ordering the company to bargain with the Union immediately. A district court judge denied the petition last month, but stated that his analysis would be different if an NLRB judge issued a decision finding that the company broke the law. In light of last week’s decision, the Union is seeking a new ruling on the issue.
Click here for decision: Grill Concepts Services, Inc. dba The Daily Grill.
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union of more than 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers and airports.
Rachel Sulkes | 602-327-4084 | email@example.com