EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; ADVERSE ACTIONS – In General
Single Topic for Decision 2381E
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503.01000 – In General
An employer giving an employee notice of the intent to terminate or discipline (viz., a threat of termination or discipline) for an unlawful reason would also violate employees’ statutory protections and thus by itself constitute an unfair practice. Where a charging party challenges as unlawful under our statutes an employer’s notice of intent to terminate or discipline, and thereafter, upon completion of the dismissal proceedings terminates or disciplines the employee, a timely filed charge, alleging that the notice of termination or discipline either was unlawfully motivated or interfered with the exercise of employee rights, will be deemed sufficient notice to the employer that the notice of termination or discipline, and any action taken thereafter by the employer based on that notice, are subject to review by this Board. A responding party is not prejudiced by having to defend against the allegation that a notice of dismissal or discipline (viz., the threat to dismiss or discipline) and an actual imposition of dismissal or discipline are related violations. The second action, imposition, is but the implementation of the first. District’s directive that charging party not contact employees who wished not to have such contact is not an adverse action, since no employee was obliged to assist charging party with his defense, and charging party could compel testimony even from recalcitrant employee witnesses by subpoena. Although a directive that an employee not contact other employees may conceivably interfere with employee rights explicitly protected by EERA to “form, join and participate in the activities of employee organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of representation” (EERA, § 3543(a)) or rights arguably protected under EERA for mutual aid and protection, charging party has failed to allege a prima facie case for interference under EERA. To establish a prima facie case of interference, a charging party must allege that the employer’s conduct does or tends to result in some harm to employee EERA rights. Requiring employees to meet the requirements of their profession is not an adverse action.