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New York supermarket employees turn to NLRB after unlawful firing

Nowadays, with an unpredictable economy, losing a job can send a White Plains, New York worker into a financial tailspin. This can be especially troubling for workers who are expected to bring food to the table for their families. However, losing a job unnecessarily is much more damaging, since it is not only abrupt, but puts a worker's reputation and employment record in a bad light. Eight supermarket workers that experienced such a situation recently took their firing to the National Labor Relations Board.

According to the employees, they were let go by the supermarket last January after they showed support in a failed effort to organize workers in a store in Mount Kisco. The NLRB has agreed to hear the employees' case, finding merit in their claim that it was a case of wrongful termination. It also ordered that a previous settlement between the employees and the supermarket chain be rescinded, since the latter did not fulfill the terms of the agreement. A July 14 hearing was set by the board.

One of the employees who worked for the supermarket for the past 10 years stated that they are confident they will obtain justice. He also thanked the union and other supermarket employees who supported their cause. The union, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500, called on the supermarket to reinstate the workers, while other employees joined the fired workers on the picket line.

A wrongful dismissal could stem from mere allegations to an employer's attempt of retaliation for a worker's actions. Nonetheless, it violates the labor rights of a worker and, like the supermarket employees, White Plains workers in a similar situation can file a wrongful termination lawsuit against their employer. The legal action can hold an employer legally responsible and may result in reinstatement, payment of back wages and other damage reimbursement.

Source: Supermarket News, "NLRB orders hearing in Mrs. Green's union dispute," Jon Springer, May 29, 2014

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