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Pioneer Hotel, Inc. v. NLRB
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
182 F.3d 939 (1999)
Pioneer Hotel, Inc. (Pioneer) (plaintiff) operated a hotel, casino, and restaurants. A union began organizing Pioneer employees. Thomas Grace, a supervisor, refused to fire an employee who was accused of being a union organizer. Sometime later, Grace was fired. Pioneer was accused of several unfair labor practices related to the unionization effort. Initially, the complaint against Pioneer did not include Grace’s termination. At the hearing, after Grace testified, the administrative-law judge asked whether he should consider remedies for Grace. The general counsel for the National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) (defendant) moved to amend the complaint against Pioneer to allege an unfair labor practice related to Grace’s termination, which the administrative-law judge granted. Pioneer filed a motion to reconsider. The next day, the administrative-law judge stated that he had consulted with a colleague inside the agency about Pioneer’s motion to reconsider and denied the motion. The administrative-law judge also commented that Pioneer’s counsel had engaged in scurrilous activity. Pioneer alleged that the administrative-law judge showed improper bias against it in three ways: by drawing attention to an unfair labor practice that was not included in the original complaint against Pioneer, by calling their counsel’s actions scurrilous, and by engaging in improper ex parte communication by discussing the motion to reconsider with a colleague.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Garland, J.)
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