Description: In an earlier decision in this case, State of California (State Water Resources Control Board) (2022) PERB Decision No. 2830-S, the Board had partially reversed a proposed decision and remanded to the ALJ to consider an unresolved issue: whether Respondent State of California (State Water Resources Control Board) interfered with rights protected by the Dills Act by failing to provide Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG) with sufficient information for it to meaningfully represent a Water Board employee in an investigatory interview. Following remand, the ALJ issued a second proposed decision and concluded that the Water Board interfered with protected rights in conducting the investigatory interview. The ALJ ordered the Water Board to post a notice and to cease and desist from further interference but rejected PECG’s request for litigation sanctions and rescission of discipline issued against the employee. PECG excepted to the remedy.
Disposition: The Board rejected PECG’s exceptions. The Board found no cause to order the Water Board to rescind the employee’s discipline because the Water Board did not rely on information or admissions obtained during the unlawful interview or employee’s conduct at the interview. The Board did not award litigation sanctions because the Water Board’s position was not frivolous. The Board, however, supplemented the proposed remedial order by directing the Water Board to continue refraining from any reliance on information or admissions obtained during the unlawful interview or employee conduct during the interview.