Discharged, union-wise dump and mixer driver prevails in back pay case

Sources: National Labor Relations Board; CP staff

In one of its final 2014 decisions, the NLRB adopted an administrative law judge’s order that Fairmont Heights, Md.-based Pessoa Construction Co. pay a former dump truck driver $95,000 in back wages. It settles protracted pay period and calculation proceedings triggered by an initial agency decision determining the highway contractor violated the National Labor Relations Act when it terminated William Membrino for “union activities.”

The decision traces the agency’s legal position for holding Pessoa Construction to back pay requirements spanning Membrino’s October 2008 discharge through a February 2013 reinstatement offer, which was refused. Calculations factored the driver’s unavailability due to medical leave; employment at ready mixed producers Aggregate Industries Mid-Atlantic Region and Cylos Inc., two other private fleet operators and a municipal agency; and, nearly 250 days of commercial drivers license suspensions from April 2009–January 2013. NLRB’s review found Membrino worked at Aggregate Industries from May-December 2010 and Cylos for a very brief period at the end of 2010, both producers discharging him for poor job performance (equipment damage, improper truck cleaning procedures or CDL expiration).