Magazine article HRMagazine

Court Refuses to Impute Pro-Union Activity Knowledge

Magazine article HRMagazine

Court Refuses to Impute Pro-Union Activity Knowledge

Article excerpt

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the employer in a retaliation case, refusing to impute a lower-level supervisor's knowledge of unionorganizing activities to higher-level decision-makers.

In October 2009, Gestamp South Carolina LLC purchased from LSP Automotive a plant that manufactures auto parts. Gestamp retained LSP's employees and personnel policies, which provided that misleading or false statements made during an interview or false entries in company records could result in termination. Employers should remain evervigilant in keeping accurate time records in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and appropriately calculating hours worked by employees. Professional Pointer

In December 2009, two employees, David Kingsmore and Reggie Alexander, began a union-organizing campaign that was meant to be kept secret from management. Eventually the campaign became known by plant supervisors Michael Fink and Michael Sullivan. Fink warned Kingsmore that he would be "gone" if general manager Carmen Evola found out. Kingsmore then contacted Evola to deny rumors that he was part of the organizing effort.

In February 2010, Kingsmore was terminated by the company's HR director for falsification of prior work history and not supplying documentation requested, and Alexander was terminated by the same director for falsifying his time sheet. …

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