EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; DEFENSES – Business Necessity

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

Where the record demonstrated that employees in various departments of the Court take their meal or rest breaks in unused courtrooms and jury rooms as well as at their cubicles, desks or other employee workstations, and even in a file room, such areas are considered “mixed-use” areas. During non-duty time, solicitation and the distribution of literature as well as other nondisruptive concerted activities in so-called mixed-use areas, are statutorily protected. (p. 29.) Because the Court’s categorical ban on distributing literature in such mixed-use areas is reasonably susceptible to an interpretation that unlawfully restricts protected activity during employees’ non-duty time, the Board found it overly broad and in violation of the Trial Court Act. (p. 29.) Rules directly affecting employee rights must be narrowly drawn to avoid overbroad, unnecessary inference, including the likelihood that latent ambiguity would chill the exercise of protected activity. (p. 28.)