NLRB v. Chipotle Services, No. 15-3925 (8th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
This case arose out of Chipotle's decision to fire an employee who was involved in a campaign for higher pay in the fast-food industry. The Board claimed that Chipotle fired the employee for his union activities, but Chipotle argued that the employee was fired for missing a mandatory meeting and had a history of deficient performance and motivation. The Board applied the Wright Line framework and described the General Counsel's initial burden. Chipotle argued that the burden was a mistake and the General Counsel instead needed to act according to the language in the court's recent opinion in Nichols Aluminum, LLC v. NLRB. Because Chipotle failed to raise this argument before the Board, or otherwise contest the ALJ's application of the Wright Line standard, the court was jurisdictionally barred from considering Chipotle's argument. Because no extraordinary circumstances exists in this case, the court denied the petition and enforced the order.
Court Description: Riley, Author, with Murphy and Smith, Circuit Judges] Petition for Review - National Labor Relations Board. Where Chipotle failed to raise an argument before the Board or otherwise contest the ALJ's application of the Wright Line standard for resolving conflicting accounts of the employer's motive in discharging an employee, the court was without jurisdiction to consider the argument in the absence of extraordinary circumstances; even if this court were to adopt the reasoning of two other circuits that the futility of raising an argument before the Board can excuse the failure to raise the objection, the court would not find extraordinary circumstances in this case because the Board had not unambiguously rejected the argument in question.