AB 1181 was introduced by Assemblymember Gray on February 22, 2013 and was amended on April 3, 2013. AB 1811 would expand release time rights under the MMBA. Currently, MMBA section 3505.3 provides that an employer shall allow a reasonable number of employee representatives paid time off when “formally meeting and conferring with representatives of the public agency on matters within the scope of representation.” This bill would expand the right to paid time off to:
- Testifying or serving as the union representative in a PERB proceeding; and
- Testifying or serving as the union representative in a personnel or merit commission hearings
- Practically, this bill should have limited impact on MMBA jurisdictions. The vast majority of public employers already provide for paid time off if an employee is subpoenaed to testify in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding. The big change would be having to give the union representative in a hearing paid time off. The reality is that in most proceedings each side is only allowed one representative. So in most cases I would expect the “reasonable” number to be one.
- As originally introduced, the bill would have extended release time rights to employees “participating” in a PERB hearing or personnel-type hearing. That would have been problematic as “participating” is a very vague term. Fortunately, the bill was amended to remove that language.