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In Wright Line, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) abandoned its standard causation test for mixed motive or dual motive discharge cases arising under sections 8(a)(1) or 8(a)(3) of the Labor-Management Relations Act' (Act) and adopted in its stead the test enunciated by the Supreme Court in Mt. Healthy City School District Board of Education v. Doyle. In so doing, the Board wrote an elaborate opinion explaining the development of the conflicting tests applied by the Board and the federal courts of appeals, the Mt. Healthy test, and the applicability of that test to section 8(a)(3) cases.

Wright Line presented an ideal opportunity to introduce a new causation analysis for dual motive discharge cases in the labor context. The General Counsel alleged that Wright Line had violated sections 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(3) of the Act by discharging Bernard Lamoureux because of his protected union activities. Wright Line denied this allegation and asserted that Lamoureux had been legitimately discharged for violating a plant rule against "knowingly altering or falsifying production time reports, payroll records, [and] time cards." The Administrative Law Judge ruled in Lamoureux's favor. Wright Line excepted and brought the case before the Board.