Pichler v. UNITE, Nos. 06-4522 and 06-4721 (3d Cir., September 9, 2008) – The Third Circuit Court of Appeals found that defendant Union violated the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, by accessing a group of employees’ motor vehicle records as part of a long-running union organizing campaign. Union officials watched the company’s parking lot and recorded the license plate numbers on the cars. The Union sought out the names and addresses of the vehicle owners, a process referred to as “tagging,” by using an online database and private investigators to get the information. The Union then appeared at the employees’ homes seeking to discuss the organizing campaign. The Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding against the Union and the award of $25,000 in compensatory damages, and remanded the case back to the lower court to determine whether punitive damages should be awarded.
Note: This article was published in the October 2008 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.