Shepard v. National Labor Relations Board

RESPONDENT:National Labor Relations Board
LOCATION:Central Bank of Nigeria Headquarters

DOCKET NO.: 81-1627
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 459 US 344 (1983)
ARGUED: Dec 06, 1982
DECIDED: Jan 18, 1983

Edwin S. Kneedler – on behalf of the Respondents
Robert F. Gore – on behalf of the Petitioner

Facts of the case


Media for Shepard v. National Labor Relations Board

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – December 06, 1982 in Shepard v. National Labor Relations Board

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – January 18, 1983 in Shepard v. National Labor Relations Board

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in Shepard against the National Labor Relations Board will be announced by Mr. Justice Rehnquist.

William H. Rehnquist:

Petitioner Larry Shepard owns a dump truck, and operates it in the San Diego area to haul materials to and from construction sites.

Before 1977, he wasn’t a member of any union.

In 1977, the respondent in this case, Teamsters Local 36, entered into a new contract with local contractors which prohibited hiring nonunion truckers.

Shepard was told he would have to join the union.

He joined under protest and paid an initiation fee and dues.

He then filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

The Board found that the contract was illegal under the provision of the National Labor Relations Act that prohibits so-called ?hot cargo? contracts.

The Board ordered the union and contractors to stop enforcing the contract but it did not order them to reimburse Shepard for the money he had paid the union.

Shepard petitioned for review in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which agreed with the Board.

We granted Shepard’s petition for a writ of certiorari.

Congress has given the Board authority to determine when a particular remedy would effectuate the policies of the Act.

Because the Board has special expertise in this area, we understand the Board to have decided to order reimbursement only in especially serious situations where a union uses threats, picketing, a strike, or other actual coercion.

No such tactics were used in this case.

Shepard argues that the Board should give him what he calls ?complete relief?.

But the Board is not a court created to resolve private disputes, it’s an administrative agency responsible for the federal labor laws and for stopping and preventing unfair labor practices.

Congress did not authorize the Board to award full compensation for all injuries caused by wrongful conduct.

Since nothing in the Act requires the Board to order that a complaining — what a complaining party thinks is complete relief, we find that the Board was within its authority in refusing to order reimbursement.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is therefore affirmed.

Justice O’Connor has filed a dissenting opinion.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Justice Rehnquist.