Decision A478E – Los Angeles Unified School District
Decision Date: April 16, 2020
Decision Type: PERB Decision
Description: Charging party Los Angeles Labor Group (LALG) appealed an ALJ’s order dismissing a complaint and unfair practice charge against the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The complaint and underlying charge alleged that LAUSD retaliated against one of its teachers, Gerald Corn (Corn), by issuing him a “below standard” evaluation because he exercised rights guaranteed by the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA). Additionally, the complaint and charge alleged that LALG was an employee organization under EERA section 3540.1, subdivision (d). After issuing an Order to Show Cause and receiving responses from the parties, the ALJ concluded that LALG lacked standing to file the charge because it was not the exclusive representative of LAUSD teachers, who are exclusively represented by United Teachers Los Angeles. On this basis, the ALJ dismissed the case.
Disposition: The Board reversed the dismissal order and remanded the case to the Division of Administrative Law for a hearing on the merits of the complaint.
1100.03000 – Standing
A person or entity’s standing depends on the legal claim at issue in the charge. The Board has never interpreted its statutes or regulations to mean that a nonexclusive representative lacks standing to pursue an unfair practice charge alleging a violation of EERA section 3543.5, subdivision (a), which makes it unlawful for a public school employer to “[i]mpose or threaten to impose reprisals on employees, to discriminate or threaten to discriminate against employees, or otherwise to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees because of their exercise of rights guaranteed by this chapter.” This is because a public employer’s duty to refrain from the conduct prohibited by section 3543.5, subdivision (a) is not dependent on the existence of an exclusive representative. Nor does such a charge interfere with the rights of an exclusive representative to bargain on behalf of the unit. [Citation.] Thus, the presence of an exclusive representative does not divest employees or their nonexclusive representative of the right to file charges alleging violations of employees’ individual statutory rights. The rights at issue are individual rights that aggrieved parties may assert without regard to the existence of an exclusive representative. (pp. 5-6.)
1109.03000 – Standard of Review/Deference to Board Decision
When the Board decides an appeal of a dismissal, it applies a de novo standard of review and is free to reach different legal determinations than those in the dismissal. (p. 4.)