PERC Holds that the WSCCCE Was Inappropriately Allowed to Intervene in a Representation Case Initiated by the Snohomish County Juvenile Court Supervisors Association

By Chris Casillas and Jordan L. Jones

intrerveneIn Snohomish County, the Commission held that the Washington State Council of County and City Employees (WSCCCE) was inappropriately allowed to intervene in a representation case initiated by the Snohomish County Juvenile Court Supervisors Association (union). The Commission also held that the petitioned-for bargaining unit was appropriate and remanded to the Executive Director to conduct a unit determination election to establish the preferred bargaining unit arrangement of the employees.

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PERC Holds that Washington State University Did Not Refuse to Bargain When It Reduced the Wages of the Facilities Operations, Custodial Services Unit

By: Chris Casillas and Jordan L. Jones

coverageIn Washington State University, Examiner Whitney held that the University did not refuse to bargain when it reduced the wages of its employees in the Facilities Operations, Custodial Services unit. Examiner Whitney stated that the University’s changes to the bargaining unit’s wages were made in conformance with their current 2013-2015 CBA.

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PERC Holds That Installation of Cameras on Buses Not A Mandatory Subject of Bargaining

By Chris Casillas and Sarah Derry

feel like you're being watchedIn Community Transit, PERC Examiner Ramerman held that installation of video cameras on buses is not a mandatory subject of bargaining. Examiner Ramerman reasoned that: (1) video cameras had already been used in the buses, albeit in a more limited capacity; (2) bus drivers have no reasonable expectation of privacy while driving the buses; and (3) the cameras could further the employer’s significant interest in passenger and driver safety. Based on these three determinations, Examiner Ramerman concluded that the employer is not required to bargain with the bus drivers’ union over the camera installation.

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PERC finds Walla Walla Guild Waived its Rights by Inaction Over Change in City Firearms Policy Despite Repeated Meetings with City

By Chris Casillas and Sarah Derry

notice no concealed weaponsIn City of Walla Walla, Examiner Slone-Gomez held that the City of Walla Walla did not unilaterally change the off-duty weapon policy for police officers and sergeants.  The Examiner determined that the employer provided notice and opportunity to bargain the policy, but that the Guild waived its right to bargain through inaction.

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PERC Reverses Examiner, Holds Kitsap County Did Not Bargain In Bad Faith

By Chris Casillas and Sarah Derry

procurement rulesIn Kitsap County, PERC overturned Examiner Ramerman’s decision that Kitsap County engaged in bad faith bargaining.  The Commission considered two separate issues: (1) whether to consider Kitsap County’s brief even though it was submitted late; and (2) whether Kitsap County breached its duty to bargain in good faith with the Juvenile Detention Officers’ Guild. On the first issue, the Commission refused to consider the employer’s late brief, emphasizing that its procedural rules are to be followed in every case.  PERC characterized the late-filing as acting “in complete disregard of our procedural rules” and that it had “previously cautioned the employer that it disregards the Commission’s rules at its own peril.”

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PERC Holds that Warden School District Did Not Commit A ULP When It Did Not Bargain With the Union Over Whether to Change the School Calendar and that Principal’s Statement to Employee Was Not Interference With Union Rights

By Chris Casillas and Sarah Derry

crystal ballIn Warden School District, PERC Examiner Whitney considered two unrelated issues:  First, the employer did not commit a ULP by not bargaining with the union over whether to adopt a perpetual calendar for the school year. Examiner Whitney found that: (1) the employer had been using the same calendar adoption process for nine years, so there was no change, and (2) although the union wanted to adopt a “perpetual calendar,” the Union never directly proposed it, so the school district did not refuse to bargain. Second, Examiner Whitney determined that the school district did not interfere with a teacher’s union rights by threatening to fire him if he did not take on another class, in part because another teacher testified that she did not think the complaining teacher had been threatened.

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Ninth Circuit Holds that Employee Did Not Have Claim Under Washington Disability Law Because She Did Not Notify Employer Soon Enough And Wrongfully Rejected Offered Accommodations

By Reba Weiss and Harrison Owens

thanks but no thanksIn Garcia v. Cintas Corp. No. 3, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a Washington District Court’s dismissal of an employee’s claim that her employer failed to accommodate her disability in violation of the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD).  In her complaint, the employee claimed that her employer failed to accommodate her wrist injury after it worsened months after the injury first occurred.  The District Court found that the employee did not provide enough evidence that she notified her employer that her current work would aggravate her injury or that she was substantially limited, so it dismissed her case.  The Court of Appeals agreed with the dismissal of her case, and affirmed the District Court’s decision.

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Camden Police Officers Did Not Show Retaliation Because They Had Poor Performance And Officer Did Not Show Violation Of FMLA Rights Because He Was Not Denied Leave By Employer’s Actions

By Reba Weiss and Harrison Owens

Sick-note-large-400x266In Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 1, et al. v. City of Camden, et al., a New Jersey District Court dismissed several officers’ claims that they had been retaliated against, and one officer’s claim that his FMLA rights had been denied by the City.  In their complaint, the officers claimed that several defendants had retaliated against them or interfered with their FMLA rights after they spoke out against a “directed patrol” policy.  The District Court dismissed all of their claims because the officers failed to show that their poor performance under the policy was not the primary reason for their transfers.  The Court also found that there was no evidence that the defendants denied one of the officers his rights under the FMLA or harmed him.

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Employee May Bring Claim of Disability Discrimination To Trial After Showing Rules Were Selectively Enforced Against Him

By Reba Weiss and Harrison Owens

daisyIn Brownell v. Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1, a Washington Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s dismissal of a former public utility employee’s disability discrimination lawsuit.  In his complaint, the worker claimed that he was terminated for violation of work rules that were selectively enforced against him.  The Court of Appeals found that the selective enforcement of the rules and lack of negative performance reviews showed that the worker may have a valid claim for disability discrimination.  Therefore, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the worker’s claim and allowed him to bring his claim to trial.

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Employee Had Valid Claims For Failure To Accommodate PTSD And Sexual Harassment That Exacerbated His Symptoms

By Reba Weiss and Harrison Owens

ptsd puzzleIn Mesmer v. Charter Communications, Inc., a District Court in Washington found that a correspondence coordinator had claims of interference with his FMLA rights, failure to accommodate his PTSD, and sexual harassment under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD).  In his complaint, the coordinator claimed that he suffered from PTSD symptoms and his employer failed to accommodate his disability, subjected him to sexual harassment by a male coworker, and his employer willfully violated his FMLA rights by firing him for attempting to take medical leave.  The District Court found that the coordinator had stated sufficient facts to support his claims, and that his lawsuit should be heard at trial.

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