EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; DEFENSES – Discontinuance of Illegal Activity; Retraction; Repudiation; Public Disavowal
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409.03000 – Discontinuance of Illegal Activity; Retraction; Repudiation; Public Disavowal
An honest retraction of a coercive statement can erase the effects of that illegal statement or threat. PERB has refused to credit a retraction where it was incomplete and did not reach all of the employees who were subjected to the original coercive statements. We do not believe the university’s retraction to a union organizer renders its violations de minimis because it was an incomplete retraction. It was not communicated to the employees affected by the wrongful conduct. Nor can it be said that the original interference was unintentional or inadvertent, coming as it did in the context of other actions that deprived the union and employees of their right of access. Seen in the context of the university’s overly restrictive interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement’s access provisions, its assertion that it alone has the right to grant or deny access, and its aggressive attitude toward both organizers as they sought to increase their presence in the workplace as the labor dispute grew increasingly heated, we do not view the retraction given to one union organizer alone erases the coercive effect the organizer’s original ejection from the workplace had on employees’ protected rights.