All notes for Subtopic 504.08000 – Cursory Investigation

DecisionDescriptionPERC Vol.PERC IndexDate
2622E Cabrillo Community College District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
An employee’s protected activities do not immunize the employee from otherwise legitimate employment decisions, including an employer’s workplace investigation. (p. 7.) more or view all topics or full text.
4312602/04/19
2622E Cabrillo Community College District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
When an employer initiates an investigation into an employee’s conduct prior to any knowledge of the employee’s protected activity and follows its customary practices in the investigation, it is difficult to demonstrate pretext, absent other factors raising an inference of unlawful motivation. However, retaliation may be shown if the employer alters its investigation practices in response to any intervening protected activity. (p. 7.) Here the District began its investigation before it learned of the employee’s protected activity and the evidence shows the protected activity did not influence the conduct of its investigation. (pp. 8-9.) more or view all topics or full text.
4312602/04/19
2630E Adelanto Elementary School District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
An employer’s cursory or limited investigation of an employee’s alleged misconduct may be an indicator of the employer’s discriminatory intent. Employer’s investigation—which took several months and entailed collecting 4 to 5 witness statements, hiring an outside investigator, interviewing employee and multiple witnesses, and reporting to law enforcement—was adequate even though it may have relied in part on hearsay statements. more or view all topics or full text.
4314703/01/19
2630E Adelanto Elementary School District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
In determining whether a charging party established a prima facie case of retaliation, the Board is not concerned with the truth of witness’ statements to investigators; rather, the pertinent inquiry for the Board is whether the employer’s investigation was perfunctory, cursory, or inadequate under the circumstances. The fact that some of the statements upon which the employer relied in issuing employee a notice of unprofessional conduct were hearsay does not render its investigation cursory, so as to support an inference of unlawful motivation. more or view all topics or full text.
4314703/01/19
2584E * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * California Virtual Academies
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Once an employer undertakes an investigation into alleged misconduct, its failure to conduct the investigation in a fair and impartial manner can be evidence of nexus. Employer’s failure to interview employee, employee’s direct supervisor, or supervisor’s supervisor suggests that employer was not interested in obtaining evidence that might conflict with its desired result. more or view all topics or full text.
435409/21/18
2563E Napa Valley Community College District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Insufficient allegations of a cursory investigation where charge alleged trivial errors in letter from employer and failed to establish that the employer had a practice of interviewing employees in similar circumstances. more or view all topics or full text.
4215405/25/18
2450E Jurupa Unified School District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
A District investigation of employee misconduct provides a reasonable basis to infer animus when it fails to attach all relevant written complaints and interview notes to the summary of allegations given to an employee when the employee had specifically requested that he be given all evidence against him, despite the District’s excuse that it did not want to overwhelm employees with too much information. A District official’s cursory interview of charging party’s students who liked charging party without including any record of these positive comments in the investigation materials provided to charging party suggests an investigation focused on corroborating complaints rather than disproving them. more or view all topics or full text.
404608/31/15
2453E Cabrillo Community College District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Along with suspicious timing, facts establishing one or more of the following factors must also be present for a prima facie case: (1) the employer’s disparate treatment of the employee (2) the employer’s departure from established procedures and standards when dealing with the employee; (3) the employer’s inconsistent or contradictory justifications for its actions; (4) the employer’s cursory investigation of the employee’s misconduct; (5) the employer’s failure to offer the employee justification at the time it took action or the offering of exaggerated, vague, or ambiguous reasons; (6) employer animosity towards union activists or employees engaged in protected conduct; or (7) any other facts that might demonstrate the employer’s unlawful motive. Lack of evidence regarding an independent investigation by the District prior to its taking adverse action against charging party suggests that the District’s justification was pretextual. The District has not described how it conducted a thorough investigation of charging party’s academic credentials in the two days between charging party’s November 4, 2012, e-mail and the District’s November 6, 2012 adverse action. In addition, the undated evidence that was first submitted to PERB by the District in its March 6, 2013, position statement is arguably “after the fact,” and therefore unconvincing justification for its November 6, 2012, adverse action. As such, it supports an inference of unlawful motive as an attempt to legitimize later its earlier decision to impose adverse action. We conclude, therefore, that charging party has sufficiently alleged that the District’s motive for placing him on involuntary, paid administrative leave, withdrawing its tentative offer of employment for Spring 2013 and foreclosing the possibility of future employment with the District, was charging party’s protected conduct and not the District’s concerns about charging party’s qualifications and or his alleged failure to document or disclose prior employment. more or view all topics or full text.
405709/17/15
2267M County of Santa Clara * * * OVERRULED IN PART by Los Angeles Unified School District (2016) PERB Decision No. 2479
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Evidence failed to establish cursory investigation to support termination based on failure to report for work as directed absent a qualifying medical excuse, where there was little in dispute that would have required investigation. Employee was a victim of his own misunderstanding about his right to be on leave without a medical release. Even this highly charitable view does not reflect animus toward employee’s protected activity. more or view all topics or full text.
05/25/12
2211M City of Santa Monica
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Employer’s failure to interview an employee in connection with a disciplinary matter evidences unlawful motive only when the employer routinely interviews employees under such circumstances. No evidence that employer regularly interviewed probationary employees before releasing them. No evidence that employer had a practice of interviewing individuals who complained about a driver’s performance when a videotape of the incident was available. Therefore, failure to interview employees about incidents did not support inference of unlawful motive. more or view all topics or full text.
366610/24/11
2184M County of Riverside
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Failure to investigate supervisor’s reasons for recommending employee’s release on probation did not support an inference of unlawful motive. A decisionmaker’s reliance on reports by subordinates does not constitute a cursory investigation unless the decisionmaker had reason to believe the reports to be biased or inaccurate. Nothing in the record demonstrates that decisionmaker had any reason to believe supervisor’s reports were not truthful. Recommendations were based on statements employee made to supervisor, not on the incidents themselves. Thus, an investigation into the substance of the incidents would not have addressed the actual reasons for the supervisor’s recommendation. Employer’s failure to interview employee did not evidence unlawful motive, where there was no evidence that the employer regularly interviewed probationary employees before releasing them. more or view all topics or full text.
36206/07/11
2161M City of Alhambra
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
An employer’s failure to investigate allegations that an employee did not get along with his supervisor and co-workers, and had returned from the job site early on two days, before rejecting the employee on probation supported an inference of unlawful motive. more or view all topics or full text.
353602/08/11
2090M County of Riverside * * * OVERRULED IN PART by Walnut Valley Unified School District (2016) PERB Decision No. 2495
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Finding of nexus is supported by the employer’s cursory investigation of the alleged misconduct prior to initiating disciplinary action. Employer failed to conduct an adequate investigation of the alleged misconduct and relied on unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct. Moreover, by refusing to allow a short postponement of the investigatory interview, it failed to afford employee a reasonable opportunity to provide information that would have aided in its investigation. more or view all topics or full text.
344512/31/09
2086E Garden Grove Unified School District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Charging party failed to establish that employer’s comments during evaluation were based on false or accurate information, or that comments related to timely adverse actions. more or view all topics or full text.
342512/28/09
2019E Escondido Union Elementary School District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Failure to conduct adequate investigation of employee’s involvement in unauthorized barbecue prior to disciplining employee for allegedly organizing the event established nexus between protected activity and disciplinary actions. Reliance of second-line supervisor on first-line supervisors to conduct investigation of employee performance in preparing disciplinary memos did not cast suspicion on employer’s motives. more or view all topics or full text.
337404/30/09
1971M City of Torrance
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Employer conducted cursory investigation of union president’s allegedly unauthorized use of release time because employer was aware of evidence that union president’s supervisor and department head had authorized the release time yet did not contact either the union president or department management to follow up on the evidence and continued to seek reimbursement of release time and threaten discipline after it became aware of the evidence. more or view all topics or full text.
3212608/21/08
1674E Fresno County Office of Education
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
There was sufficient evidence of nexus through the timing of the transfers, the varying justifications given for the transfers, the suspect investigation and results of the “employee lounge incidents” reported by Nolt and Allison as witnesses, and management’s statements at staff assemblies denouncing union leadership. more or view all topics or full text.
2821908/19/04
1560E Coast Community College District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
District’s failure to examine employee’s role in submission of incomplete report despite its insistence that employee committed misconduct constituted a cursory investigation supporting an inference of discrimination. more or view all topics or full text.
282212/05/03
1412E Alisal Union Elementary School District * * * OVERRULED IN PART by County of Santa Clara (2017) PERB Decision No. 2539-M
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Where employer did no investigation and didn't speak to the parent, the investigation was cursory and incomplete. more or view all topics or full text.
253200710/10/00
1403S State of California (Department of Youth Authority)
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
No showing of disparate treatment of the employee, because choice of the investigatory level was made by the IAU. Given employee's litigious background, prior adverse actions, and multiple complaints to various high level CYA administrators, it is reasonable that the IAU would want to assure itself that the investigation was conducted by trained professionals, rather than the local part-time investigators. Weak showing of inadequate investigation prior to initiating the IAU investigation, supports, to some extent, an inference of unlawful motivation. No credible evidence with regard to any (1) inconsistent explanations of the employer's action or (2) departure(s) from established procedures or standards. After balancing the competing interests of the employer and the rights of the employee, the Board found little, if any, evidence that such conflicts between employee and her supervisors were the result of her protected activities. more or view all topics or full text.
243114609/12/00
1357S State of California (Department of Health Services)
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Employer's failure to interview employee subject to adverse action is not a cursory investigation unless employer routinely interviewed employees in such circumstances; p. 2, dismissal letter. more or view all topics or full text.
243100110/18/99
1255H Regents of the University of California (California Nurses Association)
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Employer's failure to interview disciplined employee or other percipient witnesses about incident purportedly giving rise to discipline supports inference of unlawful motive; p. 49, proposed dec. more or view all topics or full text.
222906603/20/98
1246E Oakdale Union Elementary School District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Failure to complete a thorough investigation coupled with timing of letter of reprimand is sufficient to support an inference of unlawful motivation; p. 16. more or view all topics or full text.
222904701/28/98
1178E Santa Clarita Community College District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Nexus not demonstrated where allegation of cursory investigation not supported by other evidence gathered during investigation. more or view all topics or full text.
212801812/04/96
0845H California State University, Fresno
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Inadequate investigation of probationary employee where investigation confined to last 30 days of employment and completed in a hurried nature; p. 14. more or view all topics or full text.
142119310/04/90
0805H Trustees of the California State University (Statewide University Police Association)
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Inadequate investigation evident where sexual harassment report failed to state any incidents of sexual harassment, but instead relied upon "atmospheric sexual harassment."; pp. 25-26. Inadequate investigation exists where there is no direct evidence to support report's conclusion; p. 26. more or view all topics or full text.
142109004/17/90
0639E Riverside Unified School District (Petrich)
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Failure to conduct independent investigation not itself indicative of unlawful motive; must be evaluated on case-by-case basis, considering, inter alia, whether there was a practice of such invesigations and whether there were other indicia of unlawful motive. more or view all topics or full text.
121900311/23/87
0628E Woodland Joint Unified School District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Even where no independent investigation required by normal procedures, once under taken, it must be done in fair and reasonable manner; employee misconduct unsubstantiated. more or view all topics or full text.
111812106/30/87
0622E Riverside Unified School District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
No evidence of cursory investigation; pp. 61-62, proposed dec. more or view all topics or full text.
111810706/11/87
1740H Trustees of the California State University (Sacramento)
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Board dismissed charge alleging that employer failed to conduct a proper investigation before imposing discipline where charging party failed to allege sufficient facts demonstrating the procedures were violated. more or view all topics or full text.
296301/26/05
0378S State of California (Department of Developmental Services, Napa State Hospital) (Matta)
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Nature of investigation did not support finding of unlawful motive; p. 28, proposed dec. more or view all topics or full text.
81503902/15/84
0264E North Sacramento School District
504.8000: EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS; Cursory Investigation
Employer's cursory investigation of alleged misconduct is evidence of unlawful motivation; p. 9. more or view all topics or full text.
71401712/20/82