Decision 1686S – State of California (Department of Veterans Affairs)
Decision Date: September 9, 2004
Decision Type: PERB Decision
Description: Union business representative received complaints about supervisor. Investigation was conducted by state but state refused to provide investigation report to union business representative based on claim of attorney client privilege and attorney work-product.
Disposition: Board held that attorney-client or work product privilege may be impliedly waived by placing the contents of the allegedly privileged communication at issue in a case. Determination must be made on case-by-case basis.
Perc Vol: 28
Perc Index: 250
604.01000 – In General
Defenses under the Public Records Act standing alone do not necessarily apply to requests for information.
604.04000 – Confidentiality; Privacy
Where there is no attorney advice the attorney-client privilege may apply.
604.05000 – Subjects of Information
If union business representative is receiving phone calls from a majority of the members of the bargaining unit who are afraid of a supervisor, then information obtained in an investigation of the work place is necessary and relevant on the grounds of work place safety.
1106.01000 – In General
Attorney-Client or work product privilege may be impliedly waived by a party by placing the contents of the privileged communications at issue in the case. The investigative report in this particular case was found to be an exception to the privileges and therefore was to be produced. Determination should be made on a case by case basis.