Just in case you have not noticed, the Labor Board has created a popular, new protected class – workplace complainers. Complainers may be a cancer in your workforce, but for the very reason they are a cancer, they are protected by the National Labor Relations Act. All that is necessary is that their complaint concerns some term or condition of their employment ( including how they are treated by their supervisor) and a “like” by another employee.

Whether it’s being discharged allegedly in retaliation for complaining or for violating a newly-found unlawful rule, such as “you must deal respectfully with all employees,” parasitic plaintiff’s lawyers are forsaking the civil rights agencies and finding a new way to extort undeserved severance pay from employers, the Labor Board. The ppls (predatory/parasitic plaintiff’s lawyers) don’t have to prove anything, just allege retaliation or unlawfulness of a rule in a way that is based on credibility and the Labor Board will accommodate by filing a complaint, taking over the prosecution and scheduling a trial within three months. Bingo!

Labor Board trials before an Administrative Law Judge are real trials with rules of evidence, witnesses, cross examination, transcripts, briefs and all of the other trappings. Most of all, they are expensive. A single employee Labor Board trial can easily cost an employer $50,000, let alone the cost of an appeal to an unsympathetic and biased Board.   It is no wonder why a ppl will file to get a quick hit – it’s too expensive for most employers to fight. It’s prudent business to settle.

If for no other reason, supervisors must be trained how to deal with the complainers and create a document trail that will successfully combat “credibility” cases.. HR professionals must take seriously the Board’s decisions that traditional codes of conduct and many new electronic communication and social media policies are unlawful. Paying attention matters. Not paying attention is expensive.