EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION; EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE WITH, RESTRAINT, OR COERCION OF EMPLOYEES – In General; Standards
Single Topic for Decision 2453E
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400.01000 – In General; Standards
A finding of interference, coercion or restraint does not require evidence that any employee subjectively felt threatened or intimidated or was in fact discouraged from participating in protected activity; rather the inquiry is an objective one which asks whether, under the circumstances, an employee would reasonably be discouraged from engaging in protected activity. If the harm to protected rights is slight and the employer offers justification based on operational necessity, the competing interests are balanced. If the harm to employee rights outweighs the asserted business justification, a violation will be found. Where the employer’s conduct is inherently destructive of protected rights, it will be excused only on proof that it was caused by circumstances beyond the employer’s control and that no alternative course of action was available. A charge of interference will be sustained where it is shown that the employer would not have engaged in the complained-of conduct but for an unlawful motivation, purpose or intent.