The Board will discuss proposed revisions to PERB regulation 32147, related to expedited cases, at its October 14, 2021, Board meeting. The text of the proposed draft is available here. PERB is inviting members of the public to comment during PERB’s regularly scheduled Board meeting of October 14, 2021, or in writing prior to or during the meeting. More details can be found on PERB’s website here.
Currently, PERB Reg 32147 allows PERB to expedite “any case that presents an important question of law or policy under any statute administered by the Board, the early resolution of which is likely to improve labor relations between or among affected parties …” The proposed amended regulation would add that the following specific criteria shall be considered when deciding whether to expedite a case:
- whether expedited processing is necessary to preserve the Board’s ability to issue an effective remedy;
- whether the case involves alleged conduct that would irreparably harm the exercise of employee or employee organization rights;
- whether the case involves an important and unresolved question of law, the prompt resolution of which would significantly benefit one or more segments of the public sector labor-management community;
- whether the case arises from or relates to a representation or recognition dispute;
- whether a court injunction is in place pending resolution of the case;
- the number of employees affected, the size of any potential monetary remedy, or the nature, scope, or importance of any potential non-monetary remedy; and
- any compelling circumstances showing that expedited processing is warranted.
While certainly better than the existing regulation, the proposed criteria are still broad enough that the majority of PERB cases arguably would qualify. As I’ve told PERB several times in response to requests to expedite cases, if you try to expedite every case you end up expediting nothing.
The proposed amended regulation also provides that when a case is expedited, no extension of time to file a pleading or continuance of a formal hearing will be granted unless it is by mutual agreement of the parties or the requesting party demonstrates “extraordinary circumstances.” What are “extraordinary circumstances”? I’m not sure. But I think it’s safe to assume that unless an extension or continuance is by mutual agreement don’t expect to get one in an expedited case.