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June 28, 2010

Two-part test applied in resolving union’s improper practice charge

Two-part test applied in resolving union’s improper practice charge
Matter of Social Service Employees Union, Local 371, (Aubrey Norris) v New York City Bd. of Collective Bargaining, 47 AD3d 417

The Appellate Division upheld a determination by the New York City Board of Collective Bargaining that denied Local 371’s claim that the New York City Administration for Children’s Services [ACS] committed an improper practice petition when it denied a union official access to its headquarters to perform his duties as a union official.

Aubrey Norris, a Local 3761 officer, claimed that security officers employed by ACS “had interfered with access to ACS headquarters to perform his duties as a union official, in violation of the New York City Collective Bargaining Law (Administrative Code of City of NY § 12-306[a]).”

The Board decided that Norris failed to establish a violation under the applicable two-part test: [1] proof that the employer's agent responsible for the allegedly discriminatory act had knowledge of the employee's protected union activity, and [2] that such activity was a motivating factor for the employer's action.

The Board found that while it was undisputed these ACS employees knew of Norris's union activity, the evidence indicated their actions were motivated by personal animus toward Norris rather than toward him as a union representative, noting that other union representatives had no difficulty gaining access to the building for union business, and Norris was never actually prevented from entering the building.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2008/2008_00052.htm

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