Friday, March 14, 2014

Unsurprisingy, Cooperating with the Man is Protected Activity

D’Arrigio Bros. of California v. United Farmworkers of America, No. H038213 (D6 Mar. 12, 2013)

The United Farm Workers brought a bunch of complaints against a company with the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board—a state agency that regulates the collective bargaining rights of farmworkers—alleging that the defendant enagaged in a coercive campaign to decertify UFW as the union for the company’s employees. UFW and the company ultimately entered a settlement, whereby UFW agreed to withdraw its complaints with the ALRB. But the ALRB—which can pursue enforcement actions on its own behalf—nonetheless pursed an administrative case against the employer. Because the UFW cooperated in the enforcement case, the employer sued UFW for breach of the settlement agreement. UFW responded with a anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court denied. UFW appealed. Given that the employer’s cause of action arose from UFW’s cooperation with a regulatory agency, the court had little difficulty in finding that the suit arose from protected activity. And, for labor-law-related reasons outside the scope of this blog’s coverage, the employer did not show a probability of prevailing.


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