Starbucks settles NLRB complaint of fired MoA barista

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Starbucks settled a National Labor Relations Board complaint after a barista at the Mall of America was fired during unionizing activities at the store, the Starbucks Workers Union announced today.

This is the company's third NLRB complaint settlement alleging the company tried to stop employees from forming unions. Check out our previous coverage of the employee's first day back to work and the video coverage.

As we've reported, the complaint, filed in July by barista Erik Forman, stated that he claimed he was fired for encouraging workers to join the Industrial Workers of the World union. Forman was fired July 10 and then rehired in August after noting that the firing was "ill-considered".

"We view this settlement of the NLRB charge as confirming the steps we already took to make things right in this situation," Starbucks said in a statement. The company asked Forman to withdraw his NLRB complaint, but he didn't.

According to the Associated Press:

Marlin Osthus, acting regional director for the NLRB in Minneapolis, said the board concluded after an investigation that there was "enough evidence" that Forman was unlawfully fired for participating in "concerted protected activities" which are typically group activities that attempt to improve working conditions.

Once the NLRB determines a complaint has merit, the board proposes a settlement between the company and the person who filed the complaint.

The settlement requires Starbucks to post information at Forman's store for 60 days to let employees know they have the right to unionize under federal law. Starbucks will also remove any reference to Forman's firing from their files and repay him for lost earnings.


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