Interpreting Laws and Court Decisions

Interpreting labor and employment laws, as well as court decisions, can be a tedious task at best. The laws set in place are constantly changing and use language that is not easily deciphered by the average working American. The United States Labor laws cover the binding legal connection between the employers, their employees and the employee labor unions. Within the borders of the United States; it is generally know that employers and labor unions do not see eye to eye on most issues regarding labor and employment laws.

Labor laws can address one of three different situations: “A union attempts to organize the employees of an employer and to get the employer to recognize it as the employees’ bargaining representative; (2) a union seeks to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with an employer; or (3) a union and employer disagree on the interpretation and application of an existing contract between the two. Within these three situations, specific rules have been created to deal with rights of employees and employers.

” (Labor Law, 2005) The third situation is often seen more times than not; thus creating an everlasting rift between the two parties. In the case study 1-1 of our text, Reinstatement and Back Pay Remedy for Illegal Discharge, it seemed like a common sense; open and shut scenario. My initial thoughts without any research had me thinking there was no way an employer would need to reinstate an unlawfully terminated employee, since the person in question is an illegal alien. Recent events in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit showed that my thoughts were way off base and wrong.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided on a case, Palma v NLRB, on July 10, 2013 that an employer could be required to reinstate illegal aliens previously terminated in violation of the NRLA; or National Labor Relations Act. (Palma v NRLB, 2013) This particular case was on appeal from a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that was Hoffman Plastics Compounds, Inc v. National Labor Relations Board, which found the employer unlawfully terminated the aliens for engaging n concerted protected activity under the NRLA, but the aliens were not entitled.