In a rare win for employers, a federal district court in Arizona ordered the NLRB to reimburse Farm Fresh, a produce dealer in Arizona, approximately $55,000 in attorney’s fees.
The Court found that the costs were incurred by the employer during its defense of the NLRB’s action seeking an order to force the Employer to reinstate four (4) employees without verifying their work eligibility in the United States. The District Court found that the Regional Director unjustifiably prolonged the 10(j) injunction proceedings while demanding that Farm Fresh reinstate the four employees without verifying their eligibility for employment in the United States. The Court claimed that the NLRB’s demand for reinstatement was illegal and unjust. Because Farm Fresh was the prevailing party in the 10(j) action, it was entitled to attorney’s fees.
Sometimes employers must defend themselves against action by government agencies by reminding those agencies of the employer’s myriad obligations under all applicable laws. When faced with conflicting obligations such as these, employers are reminded to consult able legal counsel to guide them through the maze.