Decision 2417S – California Association of Professional Scientists (Rachlis)

SA-CO-464-S

Decision Date: March 24, 2015

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 39
Perc Index: 129

Decision Headnotes

102.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; SCOPE OF PERB JURISDICTION
102.01000 – In General/Exclusive Initial Jurisdiction-Deferral to Arbitration; Deference by Reviewing Courts

Sections 3515.5 and 3519.5(b) of the Dills Act confer on the Board jurisdiction to determine whether an employee organization has exceeded its authority to discipline its members by expelling or suspending them from membership.

104.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; STATUTORY AUTHORITY OF BOARD
104.01000 – Authority of Board In General; Validity and Application of Regulations (See also 102.01)

Sections 3515.5 and 3519.5(b) of the Dills Act confer on the Board jurisdiction to determine whether an employee organization has exceeded its authority to discipline its members by expelling or suspending them from membership.

801.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES;RESTRAINT, COERCION, INTERFERENCE OR DISCRIMINATION
801.03000 – Employee Right to Participate; Improper Discipline or Refusal to Admit to Membership

Sections 3515.5 and 3519.5(b) of the Dills Act confer on the Board jurisdiction to determine whether an employee organization has exceeded its authority to discipline its members by expelling or suspending them from membership. Members of employee organizations have a protected right to reasonable disciplinary procedures and the reasonable application of those procedures, and a union’s failure to establish or to follow reasonable disciplinary procedures violates Dills Act section 3515.5 and thus interferes with members' rights under Dills Act section 3519.5(b). PERB looks to the fairness of a union proceeding to expel or suspend a member to determine its reasonableness. Not every deviation from a union’s procedural rules will result in PERB overturning the union’s disciplinary decision. Thus, where the alleged deviation or unreasonable application of procedures was sufficiently removed from the union’s determination of the merits of charges resulting in expulsion from membership, PERB refused to overturn the union’s decision. Since charging party’s motion to disqualify members of a union’s member disciplinary panel did not satisfy the union’s procedural rules requiring an allegation of bias, the panel would have been acting fully within the union’s policy to dismiss his challenge outright or to simply ignore it. Although the panel used an allegedly imperfect method to dismiss the challenge, there was no evidence that charging party was prevented from defending himself on the merits to the charge against him, and no harm to charging party’s rights resulted from the union’s actions, since the union’s rules and the application of those rules were fair and did not deprive him of substantial justice.

801.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES;RESTRAINT, COERCION, INTERFERENCE OR DISCRIMINATION
801.04000 – Union Rules and Discipline in General; Union Dues and Fees; Fines, Assessments, Etc.

Sections 3515.5 and 3519.5(b) of the Dills Act confer on the Board jurisdiction to determine whether an employee organization has exceeded its authority to discipline its members by expelling or suspending them from membership. Members of employee organizations have a protected right to reasonable disciplinary procedures and the reasonable application of those procedures, and a union’s failure to establish or to follow reasonable disciplinary procedures violates Dills Act section 3515.5 and thus interferes with members’ rights under Dills Act section 3519.5(b). PERB looks to the fairness of a union proceeding to expel or suspend a member to determine its reasonableness. (Not every deviation from a union’s procedural rules will result in PERB overturning the union’s disciplinary decision. Thus, where the alleged deviation or unreasonable application of procedures was sufficiently removed from the union’s determination of the merits of charges resulting in expulsion from membership, PERB refused to overturn the union’s decision.) (Since charging party’s motion to disqualify members of a union’s member disciplinary panel did not satisfy the union’s procedural rules requiring an allegation of bias, the panel would have been acting fully within the union’s policy to dismiss his challenge outright or to simply ignore it. Although the panel used an allegedly imperfect method to dismiss the challenge, there was no evidence that charging party was prevented from defending himself on the merits to the charge against him, and no harm to charging party’s rights resulted from the union’s actions, since the union’s rules and the application of those rules were fair and did not deprive him of substantial justice.