Decision 2031M – Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District * * * OVERRULED IN PART by City of Roseville (2016) PERB Decision No. 2505-M

LA-CE-123-M LA-CE-178-M

Decision Date: May 29, 2009

Decision Type: PERB Decision

 * * * OVERRULED IN PART by City of Roseville (2016) PERB Decision No. 2505-M * * *

Description:  Charging Party alleged that the District violated the MMBA by:  (1) retaliating against employees for filing a unit modification petition when it laid off Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) services employees prior to the California School Employees Association & its Chapter 2001 (CSEA) election; (2) interfering with the rights of RIFA employees by threatening them with layoff prior to the CSEA election; and (3) failing to meet and confer in good faith with CSEA by refusing to negotiate employee access to its e-mail system.

Disposition:  The Board found that, after employees filed a unit modification petition, the employer engaged in unlawful interference and discrimination under MMBA when it told employees there would be layoffs if they went with the union.  The Board did not reach the merits of the third allegation finding that it was an unalleged violation.

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Perc Vol: 33
Perc Index: 92

Decision Headnotes

400.00000 – EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE WITH, RESTRAINT, OR COERCION OF EMPLOYEES
400.01000 – In General; Standards

Employer coercively threatened employees with layoff in violation of MMBA section 3506 when, after employees filed unit modification petition, employer told employees that there would be layoffs if they went with the union.

405.00000 – EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; THREATS OR PROMISES
405.01000 – In General

Employer coercively threatened employees with layoff in violation of MMBA section 3506 when, after employees filed unit modification petition, employer told employees that there would be layoffs if they went with the union.

405.00000 – EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; THREATS OR PROMISES
405.02000 – Express or Implied Threats

Employer coercively threatened employees with layoff in violation of MMBA section 3506 when, after employees filed unit modification petition, employer told employees that there would be layoffs if they went with the union. Employer told employees that, although they were free to join the union, problems with the union were creating legal expenses and the only budget item those expenses could come from was salaries and benefits, and that he was “disappointed” at the costs caused by the appearance of a union.

409.00000 – EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; DEFENSES
409.01000 – Business Necessity

Employer coercively threatened employees with layoff in violation of MMBA section 3506 when, after employees filed unit modification petition, employer told employees that there would be layoffs if they went with the union. The Board rejected the employer’s contention that it was merely stating an honest and reasonable projection of future layoffs because of budget deficits, as it did not implement layoffs because of a legitimate budget deficit, but rather to retaliate against the employees. Even taking the budget defense as legitimate, it is not based solely on legal expenses but on the entire budget, and employer did not give employees an honest and reasonable projection of his own view of the possibility of layoffs, but focused only on the detrimental effect of unionization.

504.00000 – EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS
504.07000 – No reason or Inconsistent Reasons Given; Shifting Justifications

Exaggerated reasons given by the employer or its agents for the alleged unlawful conduct support an inference of retaliation. The employer, however, failed to establish any legitimate justification for large increases in budget shifting expenses from salaries and benefits to attorney fees, utilities, janitorial expenses, and equipment parts and supplies, necessitating layoff of employees.

1104.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; PROCEDURE BEFORE ALJ
1104.07000 – Bias or Prejudice/Motion to Disqualify

Contention that ALJ is biased is groundless, where District failed to allege any evidence of bias other than the fact that the ALJ resolved factual questions contrary to its position.

1107.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES;PROCEDURES BEFORE THE BOARD
1107.04000 – Unalleged Violations

Board declined to consider unalleged violation of discrimination and interference with unit employees’ right to communicate with the union by denying them email access while providing it for non-unit employees, where union had ample opportunity to amend the complaint prior to hearing, but did not. In the absence of clearly articulated rationale in support of the requirements for consideration of the unalleged violation, the issue will not be considered.