735 F.2d 971 (6th Cir. 1984), 83-5248, Seegull Mfg. Co. v. N.L.R.B.

Docket Nº:83-5248.
Citation:735 F.2d 971
Party Name:SEEGULL MANUFACTURING CO., Plaintiff-Appellee, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:June 01, 1984
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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Page 971

735 F.2d 971 (6th Cir. 1984)

SEEGULL MANUFACTURING CO., Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 83-5248.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

June 1, 1984

Argued April 10, 1984.

Opinion Aug. 28, 1984.[*]

Page 972

Aileen A. Armstrong (Lead), Asst. Gen. Counsel for Special Litigation, Elaine Patrick (argued), Margery Lieber, National Labor Relations Board, Washington, D.C., John F. Harrington, N.L.R.B., Memphis, Tenn., for defendant-appellant.

John P. Scruggs, W. Kerby Bowling, II (argued), Bowling & Scruggs, Memphis, Tenn., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before KEITH and KRUPANSKY, Circuit Judges, and REED, District Judge. [*]

KRUPANSKY, Circuit Judge.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has appealed the district court's award of attorney fees to Seegull Manufacturing Company (Seegull) in this Freedom of Information Act (F.O.I.A.) proceeding.

The facts are undisputed. On December 28 and 30, 1981, the NLRB commenced unfair labor practice charges against Seegull filed by former Seegull employees Margie Gilley (Gilley) and Lonnie Stanford (Stanford). Gilley subsequently initiated Equal Pay Act litigation against Seegull in the Western District of Tennessee, alleging that she had performed work substantially equal to Stanford's, but had received unequal compensation.

To assist in its defense to Gilley's civil action, Seegull sought affidavits submitted by Stanford and Gilley to the NLRB during the unfair labor practice investigation of Seegull. On April 29, 1982, Seegull requested the documents from the Board pursuant

Page 973

to the F.O.I.A., 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552(a)(3), and 29 C.F.R. Sec. 102.117(c)(1) of the Board's regulations. On May 7, 1982, the NLRB's Regional Director denied the request. The denial was based upon alternative rationales that the NLRB General Counsel's FOIA Guidelines in Closed Cases, 100 LRR 122, precluded disclosing the requested materials prior to the expiration of the six-month buffer period and that the information was privileged from disclosure pursuant to exemptions 7(A), (C) and (D) of Sec. 552(b) of the F.O.I.A. Seegull timely appealed the Regional Director's determination to the NLRB's General Counsel, who affirmed the decision not to release the documents. On July 21, 1982, Seegull commenced action to compel disclosure of the documents pursuant to the...

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