[Ed. – In other words, not anyone.]
Federal labor law has long tolerated rough words in picket lines, but a federal judge once considered a prospective Obama Supreme Court appointee is asking regulators to crack down on “racial and misogynistic epithets.”
A three-judge panel at the Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a National Labor Relations Board ruling that a telecommunications company violated the rights of several striking workers whom it suspended during a 2012 strike, while reversing the board regarding the appeal of a fired worker, who intentionally drove slowly and boxed in her non-striking co-workers.
Judge Patricia Ann Millett, writing for the court, found that Consolidated Communications was wrong to suspend two workers, one of whom “gave [a co-worker] the middle finger and uttered its associated obscenity,” because they “were not the type of seriously coercive or intimidating behavior that forfeits a worker’s protection.” It also cleared another male worker who was punished for grabbing his crotch as a female co-worker walked past and later striking her side view mirror because the there was no evidence that he touched her car.