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1303.09000 – Stay of

In considering whether to stay an election, PERB must determine whether the facts alleged in the blocking charge, if true, would be likely to affect the vote of the employees and, thus, the outcome of the election. When a union argues that a decertification election should be stayed because the employer’s alleged unfair practices eroded employee support for the union, a stay is warranted when the conduct alleged in the charge is of such character and seriousness that, if it were proven to have occurred, it would be reasonable to infer that it would contribute to employee dissatisfaction and hence prevent a fair election. (pp. 3-4.)

Each stay request is to be investigated and evaluated on its merits based upon the factual context in which it arises. (p. 4.) The proper inquiry in a blocking charge situation is not the employees’ motivation for filing the decertification petition but whether the employer’s alleged unlawful conduct would prevent bargaining unit employees from exercising free choice in an election. (p. 11.) By taking a holistic, case-specific approach PERB is able to sufficiently determine whether the charge allegations justify staying an election under the particular circumstances presented. (p. 13.)

The Board found that the employer’s alleged conduct of bargaining in bad faith over a first contract, retaliating against a union bargaining team member, and issuing communications to employees that interfered with protected rights was of such character and seriousness that, if proven to have occurred, it would likely prevent employees from exercising free choice in a decertification election. (p. 7-8.) The Board rejected the decertification petitioners’ argument that PERB should require a charging party to prove the allegations in the blocking charge as a prerequisite to staying a decertification election. (pp. 9-13.)