Decision 2020M – County of Yolo
Decision Date: April 30, 2009
Decision Type: PERB Decision
Description: The Charging Party alleged she was involuntarily reassigned in retaliation for having engaged in protected activity, resulting in a loss of an alternative work schedule.
Disposition: The Board affirmed the ALJ’s dismissal of the complaint, finding no nexus between the employee’s protected activity and the reassignment. Even if a nexus existed, the County would have taken the action regardless of the protected activity.
Perc Vol: 33
Perc Index: 75
503.05000 – Transfer, Promotion, or Demotion; Work Assignments and Opportunities
A reasonable person would conclude that losing an alternate work schedule would have an actual adverse impact on an employee’s employment and therefore the involuntary reassignment constitutes an adverse action.
504.04000 – Timing of Action
Involuntary reassignment less than one month after protected conduct established a sufficiently close temporal proximity between adverse action and protected conduct to support a finding of nexus.
504.02000 – Disparate Treatment
Involuntary reassignment from a position in which employee was receiving salary differential to which she was not entitled to a position where she would retain salary differential but would lose alternate work schedule did not constitute disparate treatment, where the purpose of the transfer was to ensure employee was compensated in a manner consistent with the parties’ MOU and, therefore, treated the same as other similarly situated employees.
505.11000 – Legitimate Business Purpose/Business Necessity
A County of Yolo (County) employee alleged she was involuntarily reassigned in retaliation for having engaged in protected activity. The reassignment was from a position in which she was receiving a salary differential to which she was not entitled to a position where she could retain the salary differential, but would lose her alternate work schedule. The Board affirmed the ALJ’s dismissal of the complaint, finding that, even if a nexus between the employee’s protected activity and the reassignment existed, the County would have taken the action regardless of the protected activity. Allowing the employee to retain the salary differential in the old position would have exposed the County to liability of granting the same differential to similarly situated employees, and caused significant harm to the County’s budget and employee morale.