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300.10000 – Solicitation/Organizing

* * * VACATED IN PART by Fresno County Superior Court (2019) PERB Decision No. 2517a-C, where the Board issued a modified decision after the Court of Appeal partially vacated a portion of the original decision. Specifically, the Court of Appeal: (1) found that the court-employer’s need to appear neutral to the public was a special circumstance sufficient to support a ban on wearing insignia in the courthouse; (2) set aside PERB’s decision regarding display of union images and writings; (3) upheld PERB’s unalleged violations doctrine; and (4) upheld PERB’s decision finding a violation in the court’s prohibition against distributing union literature in work areas visible to the public. * * *

Under the PERB-administered statutes, the organizational right of access to the workplace is presumed and the burden is on the employer to establish that its regulation is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances to prevent disruption of operations. Solicitation and the distribution of literature as well as other nondisruptive concerted activities in mixed-use areas are statutorily protected. (p. 29.) Because PERB found no persuasive showing of special circumstances to justify the Court’s personnel rule banning distribution and solicitation in working areas during non-duty time, and the categorical ban on distributing literature in mixed-use areas was reasonably susceptible to an interpretation that unlawfully restricts protected activity during employees’ non-duty time, it was overly broad and in violation of the Trial Court Act. (p. 29.)