687 F.2d 36 (4th Cir. 1982), 82-1022, N.L.R.B. v. Rish Equipment Co.

Docket Nº:82-1022.
Citation:687 F.2d 36
Party Name:NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner, v. RISH EQUIPMENT COMPANY, a Subsidiary of Bluefield Supply Company, Inc., Respondent.
Case Date:September 02, 1982
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
 
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Page 36

687 F.2d 36 (4th Cir. 1982)

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner,

v.

RISH EQUIPMENT COMPANY, a Subsidiary of Bluefield Supply

Company, Inc., Respondent.

No. 82-1022.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

September 2, 1982

Argued July 22, 1982.

Richard Michael Fischl, Washington, D. C. (William A. Lubbers, Gen. Counsel, John E. Higgins, Jr., Deputy Gen. Counsel, Robert E. Allen, Associate Gen. Counsel, Elliott Moore, Deputy Associate Gen. Counsel, Washington, D. C., on brief), for petitioner.

George J. Gardner, Roanoke, Va. (Douglas D. Wilson, David O. Williamson, Gardner, Cranwell & Rocovich, P. C., Roanoke, Va., on brief), for respondent.

Before RUSSELL, WIDENER and HALL, Circuit Judges.

Page 37

DONALD RUSSELL, Circuit Judge:

The Board seeks enforcement of its order finding that the employer's refusal to bargain with the certified representative of a unit of clerical employees violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) of the Act. The employer justified its refusal to bargain on the inclusion in the certified unit of Charlotte Bowers, who, it contends, qualified as a confidential employee under N.L.R.B. v. Quaker City Life Insurance Company, 319 F.2d 690 (4th Cir. 1963). We agree that Quaker City is controlling.

In Quaker City we held that the secretary of the district manager of a nationwide insurance company was a "confidential employee," and that "(i)t would be patently unfair to require the company to bargain with a union that contain(ed) such an employee." Id., 694. The relevant facts in this case are the same as those in Quaker City. Just as the secretary in Quaker City, Charlotte Bowers is the secretary to the branch general manager of a regional concern.

The Board's attempts to distinguish Quaker City are unpersuasive. It first argues that Bowers' superior took no active role in establishing labor relations policy, but merely implemented policy formulated by the home office. But the duties of Gardner, the branch manager in this case, are not different than those performed by the district manager in Quaker City. There, the district manager "supervis(ed) the day to day operations of the (branch) office, operating under general rules set by the home office (,) ... (and) recommend(ed) the hiring, firing, and disciplining of the office employees and ... under certain conditions, fire(ed) summarily" 319 F.2d 692. The Board concedes that...

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