Decision 2866M – County of Riverside


Decision Date: June 30, 2023

Decision Type: PERB Decision (Non-Precedential)

Description: Service Employees International Union, Local 721 (SEIU) alleged that the County of Riverside violated the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act by subjecting its employee Tara Stoddart to a two-hour investigatory interview, issuing her verbal and written reprimands, and enforcing an unspecified photo policy preventing her from taking pictures of unsafe working conditions, in retaliation for engaging in protected activity. Following a formal hearing, the ALJ sustained the allegations with respect to the written reprimand, but dismissed all other allegations. The County excepted to the ALJ’s finding of a retaliation violation; SEIU opposed the County’s exceptions and cross-excepted on the dismissed claims.

Disposition:  In a non-precedential decision, the Board affirmed in part and remanded in part the proposed decision. The Board affirmed the proposed decision’s dismissal of the allegations that the County retaliated against Stoddart by interviewing her, verbally reprimanding her, and preventing her from taking photos of unsafe working conditions. However, it set aside the proposed decision’s conclusion with respect to the written reprimand as, unlike the ALJ, it found no direct evidence that its issuance was unlawfully motivated. The Board remanded the matter, rather than dismissed the complaint, because the ALJ failed to make multiple credibility determinations that are necessary to resolving whether SEIU stated a prima facie case of unlawful retaliation, and, if so, whether the County proved its affirmative defense.

Perc Vol: 48
Perc Index: 26

Decision Headnotes

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