Supreme Court Grants Review on Whether Right to Privacy Prevents Release of Non-Member Employee Addresses to Union

County of Los Angeles v. Los Angeles County Employee Relations Commission (Supreme Court Case No. S191944) (Reviewed granted on 6/16/11)

I discussed this case in a couple of prior blog posts. (Click here and here for prior posts.) The Court of Appeal decision held that under California’s right to privacy, non-union members of a bargaining unit (i.e. agency fee payers) have a reasonable expectation of privacy that their personal information will remain confidential. The Court held that before the home addresses of non-union members can be released, the employer must provide these employees with notice and an opportunity to object to the disclosure of their personal information.

On June 16, 2011, the Supreme Court granted review of this case. The specific issues that the Court granted review on are:

(1) Under the state Constitution (Cal. Const., art. I, § 1), do the interests of non-union-member public employees in the privacy of their personal contact information outweigh the interests of the union representing their bargaining unit in obtaining that information in furtherance of its duties as a matter of labor law to provide fair and equal representation of union-member and non-union-member employees within the bargaining unit? (2) Did the Court of Appeal err in remanding to the trial court with directions to apply a specific notice procedure to protect such employees’ privacy rights instead of permitting the parties to determine the proper procedure for doing so?

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