EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; INTERFERENCE WITH RIGHT TO SELF OR UNION REPRESENTATION; WEINGARTEN RIGHTS – Highly Unusual Circumstances

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408.00000 – EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; INTERFERENCE WITH RIGHT TO SELF OR UNION REPRESENTATION; WEINGARTEN RIGHTS
408.04000 – Highly Unusual Circumstances

An exclusive representative has the right to represent a bargaining unit employee, and the employee has a corresponding right to union representation, during an investigatory meeting that the employee reasonably believes might result in discipline, as well as in non-investigatory meetings held under other “highly unusual circumstances.” (Capistrano Unified School District (2015) PERB Decision No. 2440, pp. 10-16.) Applying this rule, the Board has held that representational rights arise at meetings that may significantly impact the employer-employee relationship, such as an interactive process meeting about accommodating an employee’s disability or a meeting about an employee’s request for job audit forms that could lead to a reclassification or salary adjustment. (Sonoma County Superior Court (2015) PERB Decision No. 2409-C, pp. 12 & 20-24; Regents of the University of California (1984) PERB Decision No. 403-H, p. 10.) Employee reasonably feared discipline once his supervisor mentioned insubordination, and had they continued to debate whether employee was insubordinate, that would have veered into the territory of “highly unusual circumstances” triggering representational rights. Instead, the meeting ended without any investigative questions or further mention of insubordination. Accordingly, representational rights were not triggered. (pp. 17-20.)