Racist Slurs On Picket Line Are Protected, 8th Circ. Hears

Law360, New York (November 14, 2016, 3:13 PM EST) -- The National Labor Relations Board has pushed the Eighth Circuit to rule that racist statements made by an employee on a picket line are protected under federal labor law as long as they don’t constitute a threat, saying a Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. worker shouldn’t have been fired for making such statements.

In a Nov. 10 brief, the labor board urged the Eighth Circuit to uphold a May ruling ordering Cooper to rehire Anthony Runion with full back pay after he was fired for shouting racist slurs at temporary workers, many of whom were black, while picketing during a lockout....

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