Region 10 Perspective Newsletter - Spring 2017 (with correction from previous transmission)

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Region 10 Perspective
Volume 9, No. 2 Spring 2017

The Region 10 Perspective is now totally digital!

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Chip's Corner 


Short Timer

There is a time for all seasons and my time has come.  After having been with the National Labor Relations Board since August 1976, I am retiring on April 30.  My decision to do so comes with some trepidation as the agency has been such a significant part of my life.  However, new grandchildren and travel await.

Looking back, I feel  great satisfaction in having consistently given my best efforts to the mission of the agency while at the same time being fair to the parties and their representatives. 

I will, of course, greatly miss my staffs both in Region 14 and Region 10, and those with whom I served in Region 9.   Over the years, we worked hard,  laughed  and sometimes fought but in the end we were there for each other.  We did well.  Thank you for being an extraordinary part of my life. 

As I leave, I want to acknowledge my first supervisor, Jack Baker, for helping me get started on the right path.  Jack’s initial advice to me that there was no such thing as a great writer – just great re-writers – served me well in my career.  Similarly, while I worked for several regional directors, all excellent, Rich Ahearn inspired me most to become one myself. Thanks, Rich!  I hope I have had at least a bit of your effect on those who have worked with me.  

As I have noted in prior editions of the newsletter, there have been repeated swings between liberal and conservative Boards during my career and I am sure there will be changes once again in light of the recent election results.  As the law changes, I am confident that the employees who remain will administer the law in accordance with how it is determined to be by the sitting board, not how it once was or what they might feel personally about an issue.  That is the continuing strength of the agency.  

I am, of course, concerned about the agency’s future in light of some of the rhetoric being tossed about these days. I would remind everyone that the National Labor Relations Act serves an important role in providing a mechanism for resolving labor disputes in a peaceful manner. While clearly our economy has changed over the years since the NLRA was enacted, the same types of workplace issues, and then some, remain and there has to be an appropriate mechanism for resolving them. There was a reason the Wagner Act, the NLRA’s predecessor, was passed in 1935. It’s important to remember why. 

A bientot.    Chip


NLRBU Local 10 Bids a Fond Farewell to Regional Director Chip Harrell

From NLRBU Local 10 President Morris Newman: Dear Chip, It has truly been a pleasure to work with you these many years. I especially want to thank you as president of the NLRBU Local that represents the employees of Region 10. You have always treated the union with the utmost respect; I know this respect flowed from your genuine concern for all the people who worked in our offices.  On behalf of the Local I wish you many years of happy retirement and we thank you for you dedication and professionalism. You will be missed.  

New Faces & Promotions In Region 10

ALEXANDRA DAY was introduced in the previous newsletter as a new Pathways Intern/Examiner Trainee in the Birmingham Resident Office as of November 2015. We are pleased to announce that Alexandra was converted to a full Field Examiner as of November 2016. Congratulations, Alexandra!


Meet Subregion 11's Newest Administrative Professionals - Five Things to Know About Lauren Lewis, Joanne Lopez and Miracle Owens-Stokes


Lauren Lewis started with Subregion 11 in November 2016.  She relocated to the Winston-Salem area from Rock Island, Illinois, but she is originally from Southern California.  From Lauren:

  1. I currently serve as a US Army soldier.
  2. I am currently working on my MBA.
  3. I would rather read than watch TV.
  4. I’m a diehard Kobe Bryant fan, so much that I named my dog after him.
  5. One of my goals is to one day become a Command Sergeant Major in the Army.
lewis photo


lopez photo

Joanne Lopez started with Subregion 11 in January 2017.  She relocated to the Winston-Salem area from Kinston, North Carolina.  From Joanne:

  1. I am a Chi-town girl with three handsome sons.
  2. I took Hapkido (a Korean martial art) from the age of 9 to 13 and made it to red/black belt. 
  3. I served in the Navy for 8 years and I was a surgical technician stationed at Portsmouth, Virginia and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 
  4. I have a BSBA in Finance from East Carolina University and I chose that particular degree because Commercial Law, Real Estate and Investments seemed interesting to me. I was also a NC Real Estate Broker for four years prior to transferring out of state.
  5. I love singing, dancing, working out, going to the beach, and watching movies.


Miracle Owens-Stokes started with Subregion 11 in February 2017.  She is currently attending Johnson and Wales University and studying to receive her bachelors in Business Administration.  From Miracle:

  1. I used to live overseas when I was younger.
  2. I love to read books; mostly fiction and sometimes non-fiction.
  3. I have moved more than 10 times in my life (and I am only 21).
  4. I have never owned a pet.
  5. I plan to get a Master’s degree in Accounting.
stokes photo


A Big Welcome to Nashville's Newest! Five Things to Know About Field Attorney Megan Dolleris and Administrative Professional Stephen Waring  

Meagan Dolleris started with the Agency in the Albuquerque Resident Office (Region 28) and transferred to Nashville in February 2017.  She graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2005.  From Meagan:

  1. I have lived in 5 time zones.
  2. I have been to 49 states and am upset with North Dakota for being so far out of the way.
  3. I hope North Dakota and South Dakota join together to become one big Dakota.
  4. Just kidding about number 3 -- but it would make me less upset with (the former) North Dakota for being so far out of the way.
  5. My favorite color is orange.


waring photo

Stephen Waring started with the Nashville Resident Office in January 2017.  Before joining Nashville, Stephen worked as a software tester for a company in Clarksville, Tennessee.  From Stephen:

  1. I served in the Florida Army National Guard and US Army from 1996 to 2002; first as an Infantryman in the Guard, and then as an Apache Helicopter Technician in the US Army.
  2. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, with a concentration in Legal Studies, in 2010.
  3. In 2016, I earned my certification as an Empowerment Leader and Fire Walking Instructor through The Fire Walking Center, LLC
  4. I am a professionally-trained Fire Breather and Fire Eater, and Fire Magician. 
  5. My hobby is making props for performers, specializing in custom-design props for fire dancers.


Notable ULP Charge Settlement Highlights 

Genesis Integrative Solutions, Cases 10-CA-184297, et al.: On March 24, 2017, Genesis Integrative Solutions and AFGE Local 2022 signed a settlement agreement mere days before a likely 5-day long administrative trial. The settlement resolved five unfair labor charges against Genesis, including multiple allegations of refusals to bargain in good-faith, refusals to provide information, and unilateral changes to employees’ health and welfare benefits. The settlement requires the Employer to pay back over $75,000 to 29 affected employees, post/mail/email and read a notice, and bargain with the Union for at least 24 hours a month/6 hours per session. This is a first contract bargaining case as the NLRB certified the Union as the collective-bargaining agent for this Employer in December 2014, but the parties had not reached a first contract. The Region received authorization to seek 10(j) and had filed a petition for injunctive relief on March 10, 2017 in the Western District of Kentucky. Currently, the parties are very close to reaching that elusive first contract. The charges were investigated by Field Examiner Jill Adkins, litigated (10(j)) by Field Attorneys Katherine Miller and Meagan Dolleris, and settled by the whole team, including Resident Officer Stacee Smith, Supervisory Field Attorney (SFA) Shannon Meares, and Officer in Charge Scott Thompson.  

TGC, LLC d/b/a Golf Channel, Cases 19-CA-156753, 19-CA-161323 and 19-CA-167730:  Region 19 had found merit to certain 8(a)(5) allegations including unilateral changes/mid-term contract modifications, and delays in responding to union requests for information. The cases were transferred to Region 10 for litigation. Shortly prior to the scheduled hearing, the parties reached agreement on terms for a bilateral informal Board settlement agreement which provides payment of mileage reimbursements and out-of-pocket medical expenses to affected employees, the delivery of information pursuant to outstanding information requests, and the posting and mailing of a remedial notice. RD Harrell approved the agreement on March 23, 2017. Field Attorney Matt Turner prepared the cases for litigation and developed the complex scheme of recovery categories and formulas for determining moneys owed to which the parties ultimately agreed (supervised by SFA Kathy Chahrouri).     

Advantage Veterans Services of Walterboro (SC), 10-CA-174875 (ten consolidated cases): The Region found merit to multiple 8(a)(1), (3) and (5) allegations arising from a union organizing campaign at this nursing home facility, and the Board authorized institution of 10(j) proceedings. The Union had won an election in April 2016, but the Employer refused to bargain with the newly certified representative, testing the Union's certification in a separate ULP case. On the eve of the hearing, the parties signed off on an informal Board settlement agreement which brought the parties to the bargaining table (resolving the test of certification case), and providing back pay for discharged employees, along with restoration of certain terms and conditions of employment pending bargaining, revision of certain overly broad handbook rules, and the posting of a notice. These cases were investigated by Field Examiner Zach Long, and settled by Field Attorneys Matt Turner and Kurt Brandner (supervised by SFA Kathy Chahrouri). 

Hope Memory Care, 10-CA-188665:  The Region determined that the Employer violated the Act when it discharged an employee pursuant to an unlawfully overbroad distribution policy after she wrote a letter to management on behalf of employees sharing their complaints about certain terms and conditions of employment.  To resolve the matter, the parties entered into an informal Board settlement.which provided for a notice reading to employees, back pay and front pay in the amount of $6,000 to the discharged employee, and a revision of the distribution policy. The case was investigated and settled pre-complaint by Field Examiner Nicole Dietman (supervised by Supervisory Field Examiner Meike Ziegler). 

Kroger Limited Partnership I, Cases 10-CA-176084 and 10-CA-184068: In these cases, the Region found that the Employer denied access of both employee and non-employee handbillers to common shopping center areas (not its own property), summoned police to remove the handbillers, threatened handbillers with arrest, and solicited letters from its landlords that essentially permitted it to discriminate against union activities.  The Employer agreed to post a notice at the ten involved stores located throughout Tennessee and Virginia. The case was investigated and settled pre-complaint by Field Attorney John Evans (supervised by SFA Shannon Meares). 

Microsoft Corporation, 10-CA-181011: The Region found some unlawful overly broad work rules in the Microsoft’s Standards of Business Conduct, Information Technology Guidelines and Policies, General Company Guidelines, and Microsoft Corporation Employee Agreement.  The informal Board settlement included a nationwide notice posting at offices where at least 150 U.S. employees are based (about 100 offices).  The settlement also included an intranet notice posting in the HR Compliance section of the company's internal website. The case was investigated and settled pre-complaint by Field Examiner Jill Adkins (supervised by Resident Officer Stacee Smith). 

C&S Marine Rigging, 10-CA-185970:  An employee was discharged for discussing his wages with a co-worker, in violation of a company rule prohibiting discussions about wages, as documented by the company on the employee's termination notice. The case settled pre-determination with a non-Board agreement pursuant to which the company agreed to rescind and/or revise its rules, and to pay back pay to the charging party, who waived reinstatement. The case was investigated and settled by Field Attorney Laura Evins (supervised by SFA Kathy Chahrouri).

The Whitestone Group, 10-CA-183992: The Region found merit to the charge filed by two employees who alleged that they were suspended for three days without pay and put on 180 days’ probation in retaliation for their protected concerted activity. As a result of a pre-complaint informal Board settlement, the discriminatees each received 100% back pay for their three day suspension and were taken off probation, all references to the discipline were removed from their employment records, and the employer posted a remedial notice. The case was investigated and settled by Field Attorney Kurt Brandner (supervised by SFA Kathy Chahrouri).      

Representation Case Highlights

Duke University, 10-RC-187957Petitioner Service Employees International Union (SEIU) sought to organize this private university’s PhD students who provide instructional services to other students in undergraduate or graduate level courses or labs or provide research services.  The Employer argued that the PhD students were not statutory employees under the Act.  Relying upon Columbia University, 364 NLRB No. 90 (2016), the Regional Director found that the students were employees under the Act and directed an election.  The Region Director based his decision on the premise that student assistants are statutory employees when, in connection with their studies, they provide services under the direction of the university in exchanged for compensation.  The approximate number of employees in the sought-after unit was just under 2,300.  Due to complexities of the number of campuses involved, the distance between the campuses and lack of information as to when the employees would be present on campus, the Region Director decided against a manual ballot election as requested by the Employer, and instead a mail ballot election was directed. 

On February 23, 2017, in response to the Employer’s request for expedited consideration, the Board denied the Employer’s request to stay the mailing of the ballots, as the ballot count was scheduled for February 24, 2017.  However, the Board determined that the Region should have permitted the parties to litigate the proper eligibility formula for the unit during the pre-election hearing, considering the unique circumstances of employment of students as it related to the semesters the students may or may not have been studying and working.  The Board ordered that the voters who did not hold a unit position during the Spring 2017 semester but held a unit position during the Spring 2016 or Fall 2016 semesters would vote subject to challenge and their ballots were to be segregated and impounded.  If the number of those challenged voters proved determinative, the Region was to hold a hearing on the propriety of the eligibility formula.  On February 24, 2017, the ballot count revealed that the number of challenged voters was determinative. Instead of proceeding with further discussions related to the challenged ballots, including a potential hearing to address the matter, the Petitioner decided to withdraw the petition with prejudice.

The Boeing Company, 10-RC-191563Like the proverbial mail carriers of yore, in mid-February, a cadre of Region 10 employees demonstrated that Board Agents will conduct a scheduled election regardless of even the most challenging conditions, including weather emergencies. On February 15, 2017, “Team Boeing,” comprised of thirteen Region 10 Field Examiners and Field Attorneys, conducted the massive Boeing South Carolina election among approximately 3,000 production and maintenance workers at the company’s North Charleston, South Carolina plant.  Due to the size of the election, “Team Boeing” included Board Agents from the Region's offices in Atlanta, Birmingham, Winston-Salem, Nashville, and the Knoxville Resident Office.  “Team Boeing” worked together like a well-oiled machine under the leadership of Senior Field Attorney Kerstin Meyers (Atlanta), who worked tirelessly with company and union representatives to develop a complex matrix of polling times, polling places, and assigned Board Agents and election observers, to successfully vote 3000 employees at eleven polling areas in around 30 total hours of polling.

The morning polling times were staggered and started between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., and the afternoon sessions were also staggered, with the latest poll closing at 4:30 p.m.  As a result of the employer’s security concerns, Board agents and Union’s agents were transported to the polling locations, and coordination of the transportation for so many people to so many polling areas proved challenging.  However, every single polling session opened and closed on time. Team Boeing” managed to maintain this performance notwithstanding an afternoon thunderstorm complete with a tornado warning that almost closed the employer’s flight line/runway, and that would have made transport to at least one poll impossible.  Field examiner David Watkins (Nashville) resourcefully agreed to proceed to his polling area almost an hour before the poll was to open in order to avoid closure.

Other Board Agents’ exceptional skills and professionalism similarly assured the laboratory conditions of the election.  For instance, Field Examiners Jill Adkins (Nashville), Jennifer Dunn (Winston-Salem) and Nicole Deitman (Atlanta) collectively processed over 150 challenged ballots without a glitch.  Novice field attorney Laura Evins (Atlanta) similarly processed over 25 challenged ballots during one of her first elections, and during a polling period lasting only forty-five minutes.  Field Examiner Alex Edinger (Knoxville) conducted one of the largest polls, processing around 600 voters in a room the size of a broom closet, demonstrating for the newer Board Agents and observers the perseverance and professionalism of the Board’s agents despite difficult conditions.

Beginning about 4:00 p.m., the Board Agents, observers and representatives of both parties convened in the final assembly conference room to begin the process of counting the ballots.  As a result outstanding experience of Field Examiner Ingrid Jenkins (Winston-Salem) and the teamwork of the gathered Board Agents, the monumental tasks of resolving 300 challenged ballots and counting nearly 3000 ballots were conducted quickly and professionally.  The final tally of ballots reflected that of the 2,825 ballots cast, 731 cast ballots for the Union, and 2,097 cast ballots against.  By 9:30 p.m., the election was concluded with both parties expressing their appreciation for the Region’s overall excellence and professionalism.  No objections were filed. 


Significant ALJ Decisions for Region 10 

Pfizer, Inc.; 10-CA-175850 & 07-CA-176035: These two cases involved Pfizer, Inc. maintaining an unlawful mandatory arbitration agreement requiring employees to waive their rights to engage in concerted and class litigation as a condition of their employment.  The two cases were consolidated under Region 10, and a hearing was held on November 4 and 29, 2016,  On December 1, 2016, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Keltner Locke issued a bench decision finding that Pfizer had maintained an unlawful mandatory arbitration agreement requiring employees to waive their rights to engage in concerted or class litigation, and that Pfizer’s mandatory arbitration agreement contained an overly broad confidentiality provision prohibiting employees from discussing arbitration proceedings with their coworkers. ALJ Locke ordered a nationwide notice posting and  remedy requiring, among other things, that Pfizer rescind or revise the unlawful mandatory arbitration agreement, and advise its employees and former employees that the unlawful provisions will no longer be enforced.       

Pizza the Pie, LLC and Becca Boo Pies, LLC, a single employer; 10-CA-179060: In this case, the Region found that the employer maintained an unlawful mandatory arbitration agreement requiring employees to waive their rights to engage in concerted and class litigation as a condition of their employment.  The Region also found that the agreement unlawfully prohibited employees from accessing the Board, and that the Employer violated the Act in attempting to enforce the agreement against its employees in federal court to compel them to arbitrate claims brought in a class action complaint relating to alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA).  The Regional Director issued Complaint and Notice of Hearing, on January 12, 2017, the parties filed a joint motion to proceed on a stipulated record.  ALJ Elizabeth Tafe granted the motion on January 13, 2017.  The parties submitted briefs on February 7, 2017. In her March 3, 2017, decision, ALJ Tafe found that the employer violated the Act as alleged.  She ordered the employer to rescind or revise the unlawful mandatory arbitration agreement, and to advise its employees and former employees that the unlawful provisions will no longer be enforced.  ALJ Tafe further ordered that the employer instruct the appropriate court(s) and/or forums that they no longer seek to enforce the unlawful agreement, and she ordered that the Employer compensate the affected employees for all attorney’s fees they expended in responding to the employer’s attempts to enforce the unlawful agreement. 

The Board is currently holding these and other like cases in abeyance pending a decision by the United States Supreme Court in Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, Ernst & Young, LLP v. Morris, and NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., after which the employers will have 28 days to file exceptions to the decisions of the ALJs.              

Certifications of Representative Issued Since October 1, 2016

Case Number Case Name State Election Held Date Votes for Labor Org 1 Valid Votes Against Closed Reason  
10-RC-172178 Advantage Veterans Services of Walterboro, LLC SC 4/14/2016 67 42 Certific. of Representative
10-RC-184707 Ardent Mills, LLC TN 10/13/2016 25 22 Certific. of Representative
10-RC-185050 Autoneum North America, Inc. d/b/a Autoneum SC 10/14/2016 74 72 Certific. of Representative
10-RC-185103 Aramark Uniform Services, a division of Aramark Uniform & Career Apparel, LLC NC 10/21/2016 3 1 Certific. of Representative
10-RC-188391 Nova Technologies an Employee-Owned Engineering Company KY 12/8/2016 4 0 Certific. of Representative
10-RC-188395 Pinnacle Solutions, Inc. KY 12/8/2016 7 1 Certific. of Representative
10-RC-188650 Paragon Systems, Inc. AL 12/14/2016 24 1 Certific. of Representative
10-RC-188826 AECOM URS Federal Services, Inc. NC 12/16/2016 28 0 Certific. of Representative
10-RC-188623 Diversicare - Oneonta AL 12/20/2016 12 38 Certification of Results
10-RC-188875 Citizens Telecommunications Company of the Volunteer State, L.L.C. TN 12/21/2016 9 1 Certific. of Representative
10-RC-190253 Parsec, Inc. GA 1/13/2017 90 45 Certific. of Representative
10-RC-191563 The Boeing Company SC 2/15/2017 731 2097 Certification of Results
10-RC-192531 Louis Berger Services, Inc. KY 3/2/2017 14 2 Certific. of Representative


The NLRB strongly encourages parties to use the Agency’s E-Filing and E-Service applications 

E-FILE is the NLRB's system for submitting documents electronically pertaining to a case pending before the National Labor Relations Board. The E-File system offers a quick and easy alternative to paper filings with the NLRB. Most documents can be filed with the NLRB using the E-Filing system, including new Charges and Petitions. The full terms and conditions for use of the E-File system can be found on the NLRB website E-File page..

E-SERVICE: Registering for NLRB E-Service lets you access and manage your NLRB case-related information. Using E-Service, you can view, edit, and add contact information to any case in which you are a participant. E-Service also provides electronic delivery of case documents via email. E-Service is faster and more efficient than mail delivery, and eliminates paper waste. Complete information about NLRB E-Service can be found on the NLRB website



A Note from the Editor

Region 10 Perspective always encourages your questions, suggestions, comments and feedback. Please feel free to contact Supervisory Attorney Kathy Chahrouri at   


The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1935 to administer the National Labor Relations Act, the primary law governing relations between unions and employers in the private sector. The statute guarantees the right of employees to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers, and to engage in other protected concerted activity with or without a union, or to refrain from all such activity. The NLRA extends rights to most private sector employees, to their employers, and to unions/labor organizations. The NLRA protects workers who form, join, support or assist unions, and protects groups of workers (two or more employees) without a union who engage in protected concerted activities seeking to modify their wages or working conditions. The Act protects non-union and union employees against employer and union discrimination based on union-related activities or other protected concerted activities.

Employees wishing to pursue workplace organization issues or allegations of unfair labor practices may seek assistance from the nearest regional NLRB office. Employers and unions who wish to pursue allegations of unfair labor practices may do the same. The Agency has 51 regional, sub-regional, or resident offices to serve the public.