Union representatives would be granted the same legal confidentiality protections as lawyers and doctors under a bill making its way through the California legislature.
The bill would allow union representatives and unionized workers to have their official conversations considered private.
“The basis of a grievance procedure in any workplace is it mimics that of a court system,” says Nelson Lichtenstein a Professor of Labor Studies at UC Santa Barbara.
But Gregg Fishman with the California State Association of Counties says the bill could set employers up for liability if they look into possible workplace malfeasance.
“The privilege could be used to actually apply a protection to behavior that’s inappropriate between two county employees when there’s an investigation going on into some inappropriate behavior of some kind.”
The bill is now on the Senate floor. It cleared the Assembly in May.