Decision 2716E – * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, et al.

LA-CE-6061-E & LA-CE-6073-E

Decision Date: May 18, 2020

Decision Type: PERB Decision

Description:  Board concluded that various charter schools violated the EERA when their agent failed and refused to meet and discuss a “neutral and fair process” for organizing teachers and that one of the schools unlawfully sought to poll employees about their union sympathies. The Board dismissed a discrimination allegation, finding that the public school employer would have taken the same action regardless of the employee’s protected activities.

Disposition:  Certain allegations of the complaint were dismissed, others resulted in a finding of a violation. Respondents ordered to post a notice and cease and desist unlawful conduct.

 

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Decision Headnotes

504.00000 – EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS
504.12000 – Employer Statements or Conduct; Threats

Where employer is determined to stamp out a nascent union, Board will infer for purposes of analyzing a prima facie case of discrimination that key decisionmakers were inclined to effectuate the employer’s policies by targeting union adherents. (Page 15.)

504.00000 – EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS
504.12000 – Employer Statements or Conduct; Threats

Coercive statements made at or around time of adverse action are evidence of unlawful motive, whether or not the complaint alleges that the statements are discrete unfair practice allegations. (Page 16.)

1104.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; PROCEDURE BEFORE ALJ
1104.02000 – Motions

PERB Regulations give ALJs the authority to entertain any motion regarding the record evidence, including a motion to reopen the record to receive additional evidence if warranted. A motion to reopen the record is governed by the same standard as applies to motions for reconsideration based on new evidence. (Page 18.)

607.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; DUTY TO CONSULT
607.01000 – In General

Public employer has a duty to meet and discuss organizing or neutrality agreements with non-exclusive representatives upon request. Union organizing is a matter of fundamental concern to employees and affects a number of subjects that the Board has previously found to be within the duty to meet and discuss/consult. Employers’ failure to respond to union’s request constituted a violation of EERA. (Pages 19-24)

1400.00000 – GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; AGENCY
1400.01000 – In General

Record evidence contained a management services agreement that imbued a charter management organization (CMO) with sufficient authority to establish that it was acting as charter schools’ agent during antiunion campaign. (Pages 24-26.)

402.00000 – EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; QUESTIONING/INTERROGATING EMPLOYEES
402.04000 – Union Views; Voting; Questionnaires; Polling of Employees

Employer violated EERA by soliciting employees to sign an online anti-union petition. The petition allowed the employer to determine the identity and number of teachers who were still undecided or might favor the union. Teachers would reasonably read such a petition to mean that their employer was soliciting their support and that it was assessing teacher sentiment. Such conduct constitutes unlawful interference because an employer may not pressure employees into making an observable choice about a union that indicates rejection or support. (Pages 26-29.)