NLRB v. Community Health Services, No. 14-9614 (10th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
The issue this case presented for the Tenth Circuit's review centered on a whether the National Labor Relations Board could disregard interim earnings when calculating backpay awards for employees whose labor injury fell short of unlawful termination. The history of this appeal stemmed from respondent Mimbres Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home's (the Hospital) 1999 decision to reduce the hours of its full-time, respiratory-department employees. As a result of this reduction in hours, the United Steelworkers of America, District 12, Subdistrict 2, AFL-CIO, a union representing respiratory-department employees under an exclusive collective bargaining agreement, filed charges against the Hospital on behalf of the impacted employees. Based on these allegations, the Board’s General Counsel filed a complaint with the Board, asserting the Hospital had violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). An ALJ rejected the Hospital’s argument that any income an employee had earned from secondary employment during the backpay period (i.e., interim earnings) should have been deducted from that employee’s backpay calculation. On appeal of that judgment, the Hospital argued to the Tenth circuit that the Board failed to provide adequate support for its decision to disregard interim earnings and therefore requested that the Tenth Circuit reverse the Board’s backpay calculation. The Tenth Circuit deferred to the Board’s policy-based rationale in support of its remedial decision and affirmed and enforced its order.