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Thursday, August 18, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesJUDGE HALTS WRONGFUL DISCHARGE HEARINGS

JUDGE HALTS WRONGFUL DISCHARGE HEARINGS

District Court Judge Thomas K. Moore issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday prohibiting the Department of Labor from conducting hearings under the Wrongful Discharge Act.
The injunction is a result of an action brought in April by the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce, the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association and the St. Croix Hotel Association, which sought to stop the Department of Labor from resuming wrongful discharge hearings, saying that the federal rights of the members of the organizations were being violated.
The basis for the action was an opinion handed down by Moore in February that said the Wrongful Discharge Act violated national labor policy because it interferes with the freedom of private employers and employees to enter into work relationships without engaging in the collective bargaining process.
In a second and separate analysis Moore said the Wrongful Discharge Act "violates national labor policy by interfering with the free play of economic forces in the private labor market which Congress has intentionally left unregulated."
Despite Moore's opinion the Labor Department announced in March it was going to begin holding hearings again. That's when the three civic organizations filed the motion to stop them.
Moore said his decision to ban hearings will stand until the case is tried. In the meantime Moore said the Labor Department can continue to accept complaints and conduct voluntary mediation.

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