Decision A430M – Morongo Basin Transit Authority

LA-RR-1244-M

Decision Date: December 14, 2015

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 40
Perc Index: 97

Decision Headnotes

608.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; DEFENSES
608.14000 – Good Faith Doubt of Majority Status

MMBA employer may not rely on asserted reasonable doubt of majority status to refuse to recognize employee organization that has shown majority support pursuant to MMBA section 3507.1, subd. (c), “card check” provision.

1107.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES;PROCEDURES BEFORE THE BOARD
1107.16000 – Disqualification or Bias of Board Agent

Permitting a party to cure a defect such as a lack of signature on a document that has no particular timeline for filing does not evince bias. The regulatory scheme in representation cases favors the petitioner in the more substantive matter of perfecting its showing of support. PERB Regulation 61240, subd. (b) provides that if the initial proof of support is insufficient, the Board may allow up to 10 days to perfect the proof of support. If the Board may allow extra time to submit additional support, it cannot be said that the more innocuous act of informing a petitioner that the petition lacks a required signature evidences bias.

1300.00000 – REPRESENTATION ISSUES; CERTIFICATION/VOLUNTARY RECOGNITION
1300.01000 – In General

There is no basis for treating petitions that oppose proof of majority support as revocations of employee authorizations when none of the employees whose signatures appear on the opposition petitions establish the requisite intent to revoke a previously-given authorization. Absent proof of fraud or coercion, MMBA or PERB regulations do not authorize revocations of authorizations for representation. Because there was no showing that parties mutually agreed to permit revocations, PERB rejected the opposition petitions and the employee declarations as valid revocations of previously signed authorization cards.

1300.00000 – REPRESENTATION ISSUES; CERTIFICATION/VOLUNTARY RECOGNITION
1300.02000 – Request for Recognition

MMBA employer may not refuse to recognize an employee organization that has shown majority support based on an asserted reasonable doubt that the employee organization has majority support. There is no basis for treating petitions that oppose proof of majority support as revocations of employee authorizations when none of the employees whose signatures appear on the opposition petitions establish the requisite intent to revoke a previously-given authorization. Absent proof of fraud or coercion, MMBA or PERB regulations do not authorize revocations of authorizations for representation. Because there was no showing that parties mutually agreed to permit revocations, PERB rejected the opposition petitions and the employee declarations as valid revocations of previously signed authorization cards. Permitting a party to cure a defect such as a lack of signature on a document that has no particular timeline for filing does not evince bias. The regulatory scheme in representation cases favors the petitioner in the more substantive matter of perfecting its showing of support. PERB Regulation 61240, subd. (b) provides that if the initial proof of support is insufficient, the Board may allow up to 10 days to perfect the proof of support. If the Board may allow extra time to submit additional support, it cannot be said that the more innocuous act of informing a petitioner that the petition lacks a required signature evidences bias.

1306.00000 – REPRESENTATION ISSUES; PROOF OF SUPPORT
1306.01000 – In General; Requirements

PERB Regulation 61020, subd. (f) requires a party to file evidence that proof of employee support was obtained by fraud or coercion, or that the signatures on such support documents are not genuine, with PERB’s regional office in the form of declarations under penalty of perjury within 20 days after the filing of the Petition which the proof of support accompanied. PERB Regulation 61020, subd. (f) prohibits the Board from considering “any evidence not timely submitted, absent a showing of good cause for late submission” and that the regulation must be strictly construed. (PERB Regulation 61020, subd. (f).) Employer’s two sworn declarations were filed by MBTA well beyond the 20-day deadline provided for in PERB Regulation 61020, subd. (f). Employer made no effort to explain why there was good cause for late submission. Therefore, the Office of the General Counsel did not err in rejecting the late-submitted declarations. In fact, PERB Regulation 61020, subd. (f) left the Office of the General Counsel with no choice but to refuse to consider them. Under PERB Regulation 61020, subd. (f), only “parties” as defined by PERB Regulation 61005 may file declarations under penalty of perjury in support of a claim that proof of support was obtained by fraud or coercion, and that such declarations needed to be filed within 20 days of the filing of the petition for recognition. If an employee’s allegations came to employer’s attention after the 20-day deadline, it could have submitted its own sworn declaration as to when and how it learned of the employee’s allegations in arguing for good cause to accept the late filing. It made no such effort at the time the declarations were filed with PERB, and thereby waived its claim for good cause for the late filing. There is no basis for treating petitions that oppose proof of majority support as revocations of employee authorizations when none of the employees whose signatures appear on the opposition petitions establish the requisite intent to revoke a previously-given authorization. Absent proof of fraud or coercion, MMBA or PERB regulations do not authorize revocations of authorizations for representation. Because there was no showing that parties mutually agreed to permit revocations, PERB rejected the opposition petitions and the employee declarations as valid revocations of previously signed authorization cards.