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Court affirms that Cintas violated employee rights

December 16, 2009
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CINCINNATI — The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision against JanSan service provider and uniform supplier Cintas Corporation, affirming that the company violated employee rights by cracking down on workers who showed union support, according to the Associated Press.
The federal complaint charged that Cintas violated restrictions against employer interference with workers'' rights to organize, join or assist unions and breached prohibitions of discriminating against workers to discourage union membership, the story stated.
According to the story, the case is the latest round in several years of legal fights over efforts to unionize Cintas workers by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees-Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (UNITE-HERE).
Judge Diana E. Murphy, responding to a Cintas contention that UNITE-HERE''s campaign was unlawful and unprotected activity, said: "We have been unable to find a reported case in which an employer has sought to use a union''s national campaign as a defense to unfair labor practice charges involving individual employee activity."
The NLRB found that Cintas used unfair labor practices when it warned employees against wearing pro-union stickers and hats and confiscated pro-union fliers from a break room in Charlotte, the story noted.
Cintas has been told to remove any references to disciplinary action for wearing pro-union material from company files, to stop interfering with employee rights and to post explanations of the NLRB decision at its Charlotte and Branford, Connecticut, facilities, the story added.
To read the entire NLRB decision, click here.
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