STATEMENT OF THE CASE
This case was tried virtually using Zoom for Government technology on March 21, 22 and 23, 2022. The Charging Party, Lawren C. Griffin (Griffin) filed an initial charge on July 1, 2021 and a first amended charge on October 28, 2021. The General Counsel issued the complaint on December 23, 2021 alleging that Respondent violated Sections 8(a)(3) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) when (1) on December 17, 2020, it refused to allow Griffin to submit medical documentation for leave purposes in accordance with established policy; (2) on December 17, 2020, it scheduled Griffin for an investigatory interview; (3) on February 1, 2021, it issued Griffin a notice of removal; and (4) it discharged Griffin on March 5, 2021.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. Respondent, the United States Postal Service, provides postal service for the United States and operates various facilities throughout the United States. The Board has jurisdiction over Respondent and this matter by virtue of Section 1209 of the PRA.
2. By refusing to allow and accept Lawren Griffin’s submissions of medical documentation and circumventing its own established policy and procedures by scheduling of the December 17, 2020 investigatory interview, Respondent violated Section 8(a)(3) and (1) of the Act.
3. By issuing Lawren Griffin a notice of removal on February 1, 2021 and discharging Lawren Griffin effective March 5, 2021, Respondent violated Section 8(a)(3) and (1) of the Act.
4. By the violations set forth above in numbers 3 and 4, Respondent has engaged in unfair labor practices affecting commerce within the meaning of Sections 8(a)(3) and (1) Section 2(6) and (7) of the Act.
Having found that the Respondent has engaged in certain unfair labor practices, I shall order it to cease and desist therefrom and to take certain affirmative action designed to effectuate the policies of the Act.
Having found that the United States Postal Service engaged in certain unfair labor practices, I find that it must be ordered to cease and desist and to take certain affirmative action designed to effectuate the policies of the Act. Specifically, having found that Respondent discriminatorily discharged Lawren Griffin, USPS must offer her reinstatement to her position, if the position no longer exists, to a substantially equivalent position within one of Respondent’s facilities, without prejudice to her seniority or any other rights or privileges she would have enjoyed absent the discrimination against her.
Respondent must also make Lawren Griffin whole for any loss of earnings and other benefits incurred as a result of their unlawful terminations. Backpay shall be computed in accordance with F. W. Woolworth Co., 90 NLRB 289 (1950), with interest at the rate prescribed in New Horizons for the Retarded, 283 NLRB 1173 (1987), compounded daily as prescribed in Kentucky River Medical Center, 356 NLRB 6 (2010). In accordance with King Soopers, Inc., 364 35 NLRB No. 93 (2016), enfd. in relevant part 859 F.3d 23 (D.C. Cir. 2017) Respondent shall also compensate Lawren Griffin for reasonable search-for-work and interim employment expenses, if any, regardless of whether those expenses exceed interim earnings. Search-for-work and interim employment expenses shall be calculated separately from taxable net backpay, with interest at the rate prescribed in New Horizons, supra, compounded daily as prescribed in Kentucky River Medical Center, supra. Further, any loss of earnings must be based on medical documentation showing the date that Griffin was able to return to work in her position or substantially equivalent position within one of Respondent’s facilities. Respondent will also remove from Respondent’s files any reference to any investigatory interview, notice of removal and discharge of Lawren Griffin which occurred in 2020 and 2021.
Additionally, Respondent shall compensate Lawren Griffin for the adverse tax consequences, if any, of receiving lump-sum backpay awards, in accordance with Tortillas Don Chavas, 361 NLRB 101 (2014), and file with the Regional Director for Region 15, within 45 days of the date the amount of backpay is fixed, either by agreement or Board order, a report allocating the backpay award to the appropriate calendar year for each affected employee in accordance with AdvoServ of New Jersey, Inc., 363 NLRB No. 143 (2016). The Regional Director will then assume responsibility for transmission of the report to the Social Security Administration at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner. In addition, pursuant to Cascades Containerboard Packaging, 370 NLRB No. 76 (2021), Respondent will file with the Regional Director for Region 15 a copy of each backpay recipient’s corresponding W-2 form(s) reflecting the backpay award.
Source: National Labor Relations Board