Decision 1852E – Contra Costa Community College District
Decision Date: August 21, 2006
Decision Type: PERB Decision
Description: The charge alleged that the Contra Costa Community College District retaliated against Pitner by denying him a full-time faculty position because he engaged in conduct protected by EERA.
Disposition: The Board affirmed and adopted the ALJ’s dismissal of the retaliation allegation, as well as the ALJ’s finding that the District interfered with Pitner’s EERA-protected rights by unlawfully interrogating him.
Perc Vol: 30
Perc Index: 154
402.02000 – Questioning Applicants; Emp Apps; Conditions of Employment
Interview questions asking how Pitner could distinguish himself from current faculty who were deemed “contentious” interfered with his protected rights.
504.02000 – Disparate Treatment
The fact that the evidence of unlawful animus is weak or non-existent on the part of the decision-maker does not necessarily provide a defense to a claim of discrimination where the decision-maker is a higher entity that simply ratifies an already tainted decision or fails to make a decision based on an independent and impartial investigation of its own.
504.12000 – Employer Statements or Conduct; Threats
In determining whether the District’s interview questions concerned protected activity, the issue is whether a reasonable person would have understood the set of questions to be probing allegiance to faculty or management.