Susanville - Following a four-year fight, UPEC was successful in an appeal to the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) challenging an employee's release on probation. PERB ordered reinstatement and full back pay and benefits. The case involved an employee being terminated after reaching out for Union assistance and representation. While probationary employees are essentially "at will" employees until completing probation who can typically be released for unstated reasons, even probationary employees cannot be discriminated against for protected activities such as Union activity. This fact pattern showed the employee was let go from probationary status only because of requesting Union representation. Other types of illegal discimination to be aware of include all types of protected classifications (age, gender, race, disability, etc.). UPEC Labor Representative Ryan Heron and Goyette attorney Nicole Valentine handled this case which included an evidentiary hearing in front of PERB in Sacramento, a win in front of the hearing officer, an appeal by the County and a decision by the full PERB Board to affirm the hearing officer's decision. 7% interest was awarded on the back pay. We cannot overstate how important this case is as most employees think nothing can ever be done about a probation release. This proves there are exceptions to this general rule.