Decision 2717E – * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * Alliance Environmental Science and Technology High School, et al.

LA-CE-6165-E & LA-CE-6204-E

Decision Date: May 18, 2020

Decision Type: PERB Decision

Description:  Board concluded that various charter schools violated EERA by failing and refusing to discuss a new teacher evaluation program and summoning the police in response to protected organizing activities. Additionally, the Board found that one of the schools unlawfully interfered with employee rights by making coercive statements during a staff meeting regarding the union’s organizing campaign. Finally, the Board held that another school unlawfully ejected an employee and union staff organizer from the employer’s premises.

Disposition:  The Board ordered the schools to post appropriate remedial notices.

 

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Decision Headnotes

504.00000 – EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS
504.01000 – Prior Employer Unfair Practices; Prior History of Confrontation/Strife/Discord

In discrimination cases, where employer motive is key consideration, past anti-union statements may be relied upon to establish animus even if they do not constitute a discrete unfair practice. (Page 15.)

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

Upon request of a non-exclusive representative, an employer must meet and discuss changes to an employee evaluation program because such changes are of fundamental concern to employees. (Pages 18-19.)

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

The duty to meet and discuss under EERA requires an employer to engage in the process in good faith, i.e., with a willingness to listen and to give and accept reasons for their actions or positions. Employer violated this duty when it met only once and refused to schedule additional meetings requested by the non-exclusive representative to discuss changes to an employee evaluation program. (Page 20.)

401.00000 – EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION, EMPLOYER CONDUCT AFFECTING ORGANIZING, UNION ACCESS; SOLICITATION, AND OTHER UNION RIGHTS
401.05000 – Union Activity During Nonworking Time or in Nonworking Areas

Employer interfered with protected right to engage in organizing activities while off-duty when it summoned the police in response to employees distributing union flyers. (Page 23.)

409.00000 – EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; DEFENSES
409.03000 – Discontinuance of Illegal Activity; Retraction; Repudiation; Public Disavowal

Employer did not successfully repudiate its unlawful conduct because it did not communicate with all affected employees and did not give assurances that it would not engage in future misconduct. (Page 26)

401.00000 – EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION, EMPLOYER CONDUCT AFFECTING ORGANIZING, UNION ACCESS; SOLICITATION, AND OTHER UNION RIGHTS
401.05000 – Union Activity During Nonworking Time or in Nonworking Areas

Employer violated EERA when its agent, without business justification, instructed union organizer and off-duty employee to leave the premises and not engage in protected organizing activities on-campus. (Page 29.)

1105.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; EVIDENCE
1105.14000 – Witnesses: Credibility, Cross Examination and Impeachment; Pretrial Statements

A current employee’s testimony against the interests of her employer is also contrary to her own pecuniary interests, and thus entitled to additional weight for purposes of determining credibility. (Page 22, footnote 15.)

1105.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; EVIDENCE
1105.16000 – Adverse Inferences

The Board took an adverse evidentiary inference against employers, and credited an employee’s account, because the employers failed to call their agent to testify regarding conversations that were central to the dispute. (Page 23.)