a. Employees in the unit shall be protected in the exercise of their right, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal, to form, join, and assist any labor organization, or to refrain from such activity. This Agreement does not prevent any employee, regardless of labor organization membership, to bring matters of personal concern to the attention of appropriate officials in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, or Employer policies, or from choosing his or her own representative in a statutory appeal action.
b. Nothing in this Agreement shall abrogate any employee right or require an employee to become or to remain a member of a labor organization except pursuant to a voluntary, written authorization by a member for the payment of dues through payroll deductions.
c. The Employer shall not discipline or otherwise discriminate against any employee because he or she has filed a complaint or given testimony under the Civil Service Reform Act, this grievance procedure, or any other available procedure for redressing wrongs to an employee.
d. The Employer will not coerce or in any manner require employees to invest their money, donate to charity, or participate in activities, meetings, or undertakings not related to their performance of official duties.
2. : An employee has the right to the opportunity to be represented by the Union at:
a. Any formal discussion between one or more representatives of the Employer and one or more employee(s) or their representatives concerning any grievance or any personnel policy, practice or other general condition of employment.
b. (Weingarten Rights) Any examination of the employee by a representative of the Employer in connection with an investigation if the employee reasonably believes that the examination may result in disciplinary action against the employee and the employee requests representation. Employees shall be provided annual notification of this right.
3. : Employees shall be kept informed of rules, regulations and policies under which they are obligated to work. Such information will be given to each new employee and will be highlighted during orientation sessions for new employees.
4. Employees have the right to engage in outside activities and employment of their own choosing, and otherwise conduct their private lives as they see fit, provided they meet all applicable laws and regulations.
5. All unit employees and Employer officials deserve and shall be entitled to be treated with mutual respect, dignity, common courtesy and consideration, and will be treated equitably.
6. : No employee will be discriminated against by either the Employer or the Union on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, disability, or lawful political affiliation. No employee will be reprised against for participation in protected EEO activity.
7. : Employees will observe reasonable dress, appearance and grooming standards as determined by each regional union/management council where the Regional Director is on the committee. Where the Regional Director is not on the committee, the decision of the committee shall be referred to the local union representative and the Regional Director for consideration. If both agree, the policy shall be adopted. If the union/management council recommendation is not adopted, existing practices shall continue. All attire standards will be conducive to a working environment that is safe, productive and non‑disruptive and conveys a sense of service and professionalism to the public.