NLRB denies Leslie Smith appeal affirming the claims lacked merit

December 21, 2018

MMA Payout has obtained the NLRB denial letter provided to Leslie Smith’s attorney after their attempted appeal of Smith’s charge that her contract was terminated due to the protected activity of trying to organize athletes.

The letter, dated September 19, 2018, states that Smith’s charge “lacks merit.”  The letter affirms its original decision as it states, “[t]here is significant evidence suggesting that the breakdown in contract negotiations in April 2018 occurred for nondiscriminatory reasons related to her demands.”  The NLRB weighed Smith’s offer to the UFC in which she requested an extension and raise in April 2018 after she learned her opponent for the last fight on her contract did not make weight as evidence that this was more of a contract impasse than a pretext to terminate her contract.  Smith was public with her attempts to sign up fighters for Project Spearhead, an organization which is making the attempt to bring fighters together for better work conditions.  Instead of attempting to negotiate with Smith, the UFC decided to end their contract with her.

Leslie Smith UFC NLRB Dismi… by on Scribd


Smith and her attorney made the salient argument that under the terms of the Bout Agreement, she should still have a fight left on her contract.  Yet, the NLRB did not address this point.  Rather, the fact that they concluded that Smith’s contract ended and was not related to her efforts to organize fighters.

Smith’s Charging Letter seemed promising when she filed it last spring.  An initial determination from the Regional Office determined that Smith’s claims had merit.  However, soon after the ruling, her case was sent to Washington D.C. for review.  In September, her claim was dismissed.  The subsequent appeal was made and the letter essentially closes her case.

At this point, Smith’s recourse would likely be filing an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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