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December 21, 2011

Union official’s advice to employee protected act


Union official’s advice to employee protected act
PERB Case U-5775

The union’s representative advised a co-worker not to answer questions concerning alleged violations of provisions of the “faculty handbook.”

The representative then received a letter, a copy of which was placed into his personnel file, indicating that the “instruction to the employee not to answer (the) question” was considered “insubordination ... and any recurrence ... would result in (a) recommendation ... that disciplinary action be taken.”

PERB ruled that the representative was engaged in a protected activity under the Taylor Law and directed the letter to be withdrawn and not considered for any purpose.

N.B. Although the Union’s representative’s right to give advice is protected, should the advice be incorrect, the employee who follows such advice may expose himself or herself to the risk of charges of misconduct or insubordination.

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