Decision 1676M – Rainbow Municipal Water District
Decision Date: August 19, 2004
Decision Type: PERB Decision
Description: Goddard alleged that the district terminated him for telling fellow employees that the general manager had offered promotional opportunities to another employee if that employee would help to prevent the union from affiliating with a certain labor consulting firm.
Disposition: The Board found that the district discriminated against Goddard for his protected activity. Goddard’s conduct in disclosing a confidential communication did not lose its protected nature since he simply reported a conversation that he overheard and believed to be unlawful while performing his regular duties.
Perc Vol: 28
Perc Index: 220
300.04000 – Individual/Concerted/Activities/Self-Representation
Goddard engaged in protected activity when he told fellow employees that the General Manager had offered promotional opportunities to another employee if that employee would help prevent the union from affiliating with a certain labor consulting firm as acts in furtherance of union interests are protected.
503.07000 – Discharge; Layoffs; Constructive Discharge; Rejection During Probation
Goddard was terminated for his protected activity.
505.03000 – Misconduct
Goddard’s conduct in disclosing a confidential communication did not lose its protected nature since he was simply reporting a conversation that he believed to be unlawful that he overheard while performing his regular duties. There was no evidence of bad faith or knowledge that the report might be untrue. The District had no specific rule regarding confidentiality and in any event, a rule that prohibits reporting violations of the MMBA is facially unlawful.
1105.03000 – Burden of Proof; Weight of Evidence; Presumptions and Inferences; Affirmative Defenses
Witnesses failure to testify on an important issues in the case and corroborating witnesses failure to recall events regarding the issue causes ALJ to make an adverse inference against both witnesses and discredit their accounts of the events.
1201.02000 – Reinstatement
It is an appropriate remedy to reinstate Goddard to a position he was offered before his termination.