Ruling Says Cooper Tire Must Rehire Who Used Racial Slurs During 2012 Lockout

9/21/17 – 5:07 A.M.

Cooper Tire & Rubber improperly fired a worker who yelled racial slurs at a temporary worker during the 2012 lockout. That’s according to the Society for Human Resource Management. The organization reports the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a judge’s ruling that the employee keep their job.

SHRM reports a locked out employee yelled, “Hey, did you bring enough KFC for everyone?” and “Hey, anybody smell that? I smell fried chicken and watermelon” at a black replacement worker. Cooper fired the employee, and the United Steel Workers took the case to arbitration. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the company.

An administrative law judge reviewed the case and said Cooper couldn’t fire the employee for constitutionally protected speech. The National Labor Relations Board then ordered the company rehire and give back pay to the employee.

The 8th Circuit said, “impulsive behavior on the picket line is to be expected, especially when directed against nonstriking employees or strike-breakers.”

MORE: Society for Human Resource Management