EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; DEFENSES – Business Necessity

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409.00000 – EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; DEFENSES
409.01000 – Business Necessity

Issuance of cease and desist order against union steward conducting union investigation into alleged misconduct by a supervisor for a potential grievance was not justified by legitimate business reason related to maintaining integrity of employer’s investigation, where there is no evidence steward’s conduct interfered with, delayed, distorted or unduly influenced employer’s investigation. Legitimacy of employer’s justification for interfering with employee organizational rights is undermined by: inaccurate way in which information was reported up the chain of command and acted upon without verification; employer’s reliance on a policy manual section that does not appear to support action taken; employer’s proffering of a false equivalency between cease and desist orders given to job steward and supervisor under investigation; and inconsistent understanding among witnesses regarding scope and effect of order. In balancing the competing interests of the parties, interference with employee organizational rights outweighs business justification proffered by employer for its conduct.