A Big Win for Unlawfully Fired Workers

Chris Ryon is proud to have represented the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, AFL-CIO, District Council 51 (the Union) in a case before the National Labor Relations Board in which the Employer, Tito Contractors, Inc., agrees to pay $250,000 in backpay to nine former employees, expunge unlawful discipline, and issue a letter of apology.

The settlement resolves multi-year case against Tito, a Washington, D.C. construction company, that began with unfair labor practice charges filed by the Union between December 2013 and August 2014. The Union alleged that Tito’s supervisors acted unlawfully by:

  • Firing nine employees;
  • Interrogating employees about their protected union activities;
  • Threatening employees with discharge, loss of overtime, and immigration-related reprisals for engaging in protected activities; and
  • Creating the impression that employees’ protected activities were under surveillance.

Region 5 of the National Labor Relations Board found merit to the Union’s allegations and vigorously litigated the unfair labor practice case. The Region obtained a strong Administrative Law Judge Decision in 2014, which was adopted by the Board in 2018. In 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia enforced the Board’s Decision and Order. Tito posted remedial notices in its DC and Baltimore locations but challenged the backpay amount.

A compliance proceeding to determine backpay owed began before Judge Andrew Gollin on September 9, 2021 and was set to resume on November 1, 2021. However, the parties agreed to resolve the dispute through a Board settlement agreement

On November 2, 2021, Judge Gollin approved a settlement agreement requiring Tito to pay $250,000 in backpay to nine former employees; expunge their employment records of any reference to their unlawful disciplines and discharges; and deliver a personal letter of apology to each former employee.

In addition to the remedies described above, the Union successfully pushed for the NLRB to serve as a certifying law enforcement agency for U visa applications as part of its investigation and prosecution of this case.

Throughout the organizing campaign and protracted litigation, the workers demonstrated unrelenting courage, and a commitment to each other. They and the IUPAT very much to deserve this long overdue measure of justice!

The NLRB and IUPAT press releases can be found below.

NLRB press release: Region 5 Obtains Settlement Requiring Employer to Pay $250,000 in Backpay, Expunge Unlawful Discipline, and Issue Letter of Apology | National Labor Relations Board (nlrb.gov)

IUPAT press release: https://www.iupat.org/news/tito-victory/

Latest Post