When employers face charges before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) relating to terminated employees, they know that back pay and front pay may hang in the balance. The NLRB General Counsel also recently has pushed for additional categories of relief, such as consequential damages. It now appears another novel remedy may be on the table – labor law training.

According to a recent press release from the agency in relation to a settled case:

“On March 25, 2022, Elizabeth Kerwin, the Regional Director for Region 7-Detroit of the National Labor Relations Board, approved a settlement agreement requiring that Dearborn Speech and Sensory Center, Inc. d/b/a Metro EHS Pediatric Therapy:

  • Pay $67,335 in backpay, frontpay, and consequential damages to a former employee;
  • Expunge any reference to her unlawful discharge in her employment record and provide her with neutral job references;
  • Post and email a remedial notice to employees;
  • Provide a training session about employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act for its managers and supervisors to be conducted by an agent of the NLRB; and,
  • Provide a training session to its employees about the National Labor Relations Act, to be conducted by an agent of the NLRB.

The settlement agreement resolves a complaint issued against Dearborn Speech and Sensory Center that began with a charge filed by a former employee on August 13, 2021. The former employee alleged that Dearborn Speech and Sensory Center acted unlawfully by discharging her because she engaged in protected concerted activities by protesting terms and conditions of employment in order to discourage other employees from engaging in such conduct.”

You read that right. As a condition to resolving the charge, the employer in that case must allow a NLRB agent to come onsite and conduct labor law training for its management staff as well as its rank-and-file workforce. This aligns with the agency’s stated goal of ensuring employees more broadly understand their labor law rights.

After collecting more than $56 million in damages from employers last year, the NLRB looks to be expanding its remedial arsenal going forward.