Harrell v. American Red Cross

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Labor Law
Case Number: 
Nos. 12-1264 & 12-1362 Cons.
Decision Date: 
April 23, 2013
Federal District: 
C.D. Ill.
Affirmed and reversed in part and remanded
Dist. Ct. did not err in entering preliminary injunction that precluded respondent-employer from suspending employees’ scheduled merit pay raises pending resolution of complaint filed by NLRB alleging that employer violated section 8(a)(5) of NLRA by making unilateral changes in merit pay and other programs during pendency of petition for union certification that ultimately resulted in union certification. Although employer argued that instant change did not violate NLRA since union had not been certified at time of change, temporary injunction was properly entered where: (1) ALJ issued prior finding that unilateral action in suspending merit pay program violated section 8(a)(5); (2) employer’s unilateral change prevented union from discussing terms of merit pay program; (3) unilateral change in merit pay program had crippling effect on union's ability to represent said employees; and (4) unilateral change in merit pay program rendered union less popular with employees. Dist Ct. erred, though, in denying injunctive relief with respect to other unilateral changes to employee benefits made by employer where said changes similarly altered status quo and required union to bargain to regain said benefits.