National Labor Relations Board v. Curtin Matheson Scientific, Inc.
United States Supreme Court
494 U.S. 775 (1990)
A union representing employees of Curtin Matheson Scientific, Inc. (CMS) (defendant) called a strike against CMS. CMS replaced a majority of the striking employees with 22 new workers. Based on CMS's interview of one strike-replacement worker, CMS assumed that the union no longer represented a majority of CMS's employees. CMS withdrew its recognition of the union as the employees' legitimate labor representative. The union filed an unfair-labor-practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) (plaintiff) under § 158 of the National Labor Relations Act. The union said that CMS had an insufficient factual basis for assuming that the union no longer represented a majority of CMS's employees. Over the years, the NLRB had used several standards to implement § 158. Until 1975, the NLRB presumed that strike-replacement workers opposed the recognized union. From 1975 to 1987, the NLRB presumed that strike-replacement workers supported the recognized union. After 1987, the NLRB abandoned all presumptions and would determine a strike-replacement worker’s view on a case-by-case basis. Relying on the post-1987 NLRB policy of not presuming that all strike-replacement workers opposed the union, the NLRB's general counsel issued an unfair-labor-practice charge against CMS. However, an administrative law judge ruled in favor of CMS and dismissed the general counsel's complaint. Then, the NLRB reversed the administrative law judge. The NLRB applied the post-1987 policy to find there were no presumptions about a strike-replacement worker’s allegiance and, therefore, that CMS had not shown that the union had lost its majority status just because the majority of workers were strike-replacement workers. The NLRB ordered CMS to bargain with the union. A court of appeals refused to enforce the NLRB's order. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, J.)
Concurrence (Rehnquist, C.J.)
Dissent (Scalia, J.)
Dissent (Blackmun, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.