Smith filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the former UFC fighter’s attorney in Lucas Middlebrook states that the NLRB says that Smith’s claims are valid, so they are going to be filing a complaint against the UFC.
“In this initial step, this is the best-case scenario, that the NLRB will have investigated the charge and determined that there was enough merit to file a complaint and prosecute the charge on behalf of Leslie,” Middlebrook said to MMA Fighting.
The former UFC star had accused the UFC on discrimination when she was cut by the MMA promotion and the NLRB believes there is merit to what Smith is claiming.
Middlebrook says that Smith is the first person to have challenged the UFC this way with the NLRB.
“If you look at the statistics, thousands and thousands of charges are filed each year with the NLRB and merit determinations are made,” Middlebrook said. “You just don’t hear about it, because typically they are not high-profile cases. But a lot of work went into presenting the NLRB with evidence and also refuting the UFC’s claims as to why it was not discriminatory. And in the end, the evidence that was presented convinced Region 4 that Leslie’s charge had merit.”
It is now up to the UFC to respond to the complaint from the NLRB, which would then lead to a discovery period before both sides meet in front of a administrative law judge in Philadelphia.
A short time after this initial story went up, a series of tweets went out by Lucas Middlebrook, accusing the UFC of using delay tactics:
NLRB-Region 4 informed me today it has found @LeslieSmith_GF’s Charge has merit & absent settlement it will issue a complaint against the UFC. The determination found meritorious the allegations @LeslieSmith_GF was a statutory employee & retaliated against for her union activity— Lucas Middlebrook (@lkmiddleb) June 29, 2018
Late today Reg. 4 informed us it had been instructed, post-decision, to send case to D.C for review. Opinion: UFC, unable to prevail on merits, pulled political strings to delay responsibility. Blatant delay tactic-Leslie will take all legal means to ensure Reg. 4 decision stands https://t.co/ldQhAzAPyV— Lucas Middlebrook (@lkmiddleb) June 30, 2018