Deferral to Arbitration is Immediately Appealable

County of Santa Clara (2020) PERB Dec. No. Ad-482-M (Issued on 11/2/20)

The statutory language of EERA, the Dills Act, and JCEERA provides for the deferral of an unfair practice charge to arbitration where certain conditions are met. For example, EERA provides that PERB may not “[i]ssue a complaint against conduct also prohibited by the provisions of the agreement between the parties until the grievance machinery of the agreement, if it exists and covers the matter at issue, has been exhausted, either by settlement or binding arbitration.” (Gov. Code, §3541.5(a)(2).) An unfair practice charge that is deferred to arbitration under one of these acts is dismissed. (PERB Reg. 32620(b)(5).) That dismissal is then appealable to the Board. (PERB Reg. 32635.)

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New Filing Regulations Effective February 15, 2021

The Office of Administrative Law has approved PERB’s proposed regulations that will allow for the electronic filing and service of case-related documents and to allow for the electronic signature of union authorization cards. The new regulations become effective on February 15, 2021, and the text of the regulations can be found here.

According to PERB, notable changes in the regulations include:

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Member Krantz Reappointed to PERB; Member Banks Designated Chair

On January 22, 2021, Governor Newsom reappointed Member Ari Krantz to the Board of PERB. Member Krantz’ term had expired at the end of 2020. Presumably, Member Krantz was reappointed for a full 5-year term. Member Krantz’ reappointment will require Senate confirmation.

In addition, Governor Newsom also designated Member Eric Banks as the new Chair of PERB. PERB has not had an official Chair since Mark Gregersen left the Board in June 2018. The Chair position is designated by the Governor and does not require Senate Confirmation.

[Note: A prior version of this post incorrectly stated that PERB has not had an official Chair since Anita Martinez. The post has been corrected to note that after Anita Martinez served as Chair, Mark Gregersen served as Chair of PERB until June 2018.]

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PERB Issues 2019-20 Annual Report

PERB has released its annual report for fiscal year 2019-2020. (The report is available here.)  Here is my annual summary of the statistics in the report:

Unfair Practice Charges

547 unfair practice charges (UPCs) were filed in fiscal year 2019-20. This is a 20.8% decrease from the 691 UPCs filed in fiscal year 2018-19. In terms of the break-down by Act, the MMBA decreased from 289 to 223 UPCs. EERA decreased from 279 to 192 UPCs. The Dills Act increased from 31 to 43 UPCs. HEERA decreased 73 to 68 UPCs. The Trial Court Act increased from 1 to 8 UPCs.  The Trial Court Interpreter Act also increased from 1 to 8 UPCs. There was 1 UPC filed under the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Employer-Employee Relations Act, and 3 UPCS designated non-jurisdictional.

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PERB Invites Comments on Proposed Filing Regulations

PERB has invited public comments on proposed regulations that update PERB’s rules governing filing requirements, case processing, service of process, as well as access and storage of case materials. According to the Initial Statement of Reasons, “these updates are intended to bring PERB in step with new case processing technologies, consolidate duplicative rules, fill procedural gaps, and simplify the Board’s procedures and processes for case adjudication in a way that make them more understandable to our non-attorney constituents.”

Comments on the proposed regulations are due to the Board by Monday, November 30, 2020. More information on the proposed regulations and where to submit comments may be found here.

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