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Ozark Automotive Distributors, Inc. v. NLRB

779 F.3d 576 (2015)

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Ozark Automotive Distributors, Inc. v. NLRB

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

779 F.3d 576 (2015)

Facts

Ozark Automotive Distributors, Inc. (Ozark) (plaintiff) distributed automotive parts. In 2010 the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (the union) filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) (defendant) to represent a portion of Ozark’s employees. Ozark challenged the union and claimed that agents of the union harassed, threatened, and coerced Ozark employees to the point that a fair union election was impossible. The NLRB ordered a hearing on Ozark’s allegations. Ozark served subpoenas duces tecum—subpoenas for the production of documents—on the union and Oscar Castillo, an Ozark employee who Ozark believed to be acting as an agent of the union, for information related to the unionization effort. The union and Castillo argued that the subpoenas should be revoked, claiming the subpoenas threatened Ozark employees’ privacy interests related to their right to engage in union activity. Ozark argued that the information requested in the subpoenas was necessary for its case against the union. The hearing officer granted the requests to revoke Ozark’s subpoenas and declined the alternative of narrowing the scope of the subpoenas out of concern for the employees’ privacy interests. Adopting the hearing officer’s recommendations, the NLRB certified the union. Because there was no avenue for Ozark to seek direct review of the revocation of the subpoenas, it refused to bargain with the union. The union filed charges of unfair labor practices against Ozark, and Ozark challenged the certification of the union, arguing that Ozark’s subpoenas had been erroneously revoked.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Randolph, J.)

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