EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; DEFENSES – Misconduct
Single Topic for Decision 2458E
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505.03000 – Misconduct
The District’s alleged failure to report student accusations against charging party to Child Protective Services and/or the sheriff’s office does not logically lead to the conclusion that the investigation was a subterfuge for retaliation. Common sense and the District’s practice dictate that student complaints of mistreatment at the hands of teachers require investigation. That the District may have also had a duty to report the complaints to Child Protective Services does not vitiate the District’s legitimate non-discriminatory reason to interview charging party about the complaints. Exaggerated accusations of “insubordination” and bad attitude have been found to be pretextual where they were factually inaccurate and not adequately explained by other evidence. Where an employer has legitimate concerns over how a teacher’s conduct may affect the integrity of its education program, PERB has refused to disturb the employer's decision making process.