Decision 2689M – * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital District
Decision Date: January 13, 2020
Decision Type: PERB Decision
750.01000 – In General
The MMBA does not give an employer the right to determine which employees get the benefit of the statute or which must remain unrepresented, and it does not empower it to determine the number and identity of the employee organizations that represent its employees. (See MMBA, § 3502.) By considering each of the four unit determination factors of its local rule in a vacuum, and willfully disregarding the organizational rights of employees and ESC, the Hospital unlawfully focused on its desired outcome at the expense of rights conferred by the MMBA, and unreasonably applied its local rule.
The circumstances surrounding the Hospital’s application of the rule, including its intentions, are relevant where it is apparent that the Hospital’s repeated unlawful conduct and results-oriented approach deprived employees and the employee organization of their rights under the MMBA to choose a representative and be represented in their dealings with the employer. (MMBA, § 3500.)
1203.01000 – In General
The Board considered the Hospital’s repeated failure to apply its own rule reasonably and exhaustive history of litigating similar issues in finding the Board was well within its broad remedial authority to order the employer to recognize and commence bargaining with ESC.
1309.04000 – Efficiency of Operation
In cases where unit proliferation is at issue, the employer may rely on the adverse impact on its operational efficiency in its unit determination analysis. (Pleasanton Joint School District/Amador Valley Joint Union High School District (1981) PERB Decision No. 169, p. 4.) However, if dismissing the petition effectively denies employees the right to representation, the employer's rejection based on the inappropriateness of the unit is generally warranted only where there is “convincing evidence in support of the . . . claim that efficiency of its operations would be impaired.” (Ibid.) The Board found that the Hospital’s evidence was purely speculative and insufficient to demonstrate concrete operational harm.
1309.07000 – Unit Size
The small size of the proposed unit is not a disqualifying factor alone.