A Little History on the Labor Movement

Today is the 100 year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that killed 146 young women and girls in New York City on March 25, 1911. It was one of the worst workplace disasters in our nation’s history. The sight of immigrant girls and women leaping to their deaths—some with their clothes on fire, some holding hands—horrified the entire nation. The tragedy not only helped spark the growth of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union but the entire labor movement in the United States.Fast forward to 2011 … I’ve received a couple of comments from readers on how Governor Jerry Brown…

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Court Affirms Duty of Fair Representation under MMBA

Paulsen v. Local No. 856 (Court of Appeal Case No. A126633) (Issued on 3/18/11) Plaintiffs are Deputy Probation Officers employed by the County of Marin (County) who brought a wage and hour lawsuit against both the County and their union, Local 856. The lawsuit alleged that the County and the union entered into a “secret” deal to falsely designate plaintiffs as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The plaintiffs brought three (3) causes of action alleged against the union: 1) breach of the duty of fair representation, 2) common law breach of fiduciary duty, and 3) fraudulent concealment.The…

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SB 609: Requires Board Decision in 180 Days in Representation Cases

SB 609 was introduced by Senator Negrete McLeod on February 17, 2011. Under SB 609, PERB would have 180 days to issue a decision in an appeal of an Administrative Law Judge's decision in a representation case (ie. requests for recognition, unit modification, severance, decertification, etc.).  Currently, there are no time limits governing how long PERB has to issue a decision on any matter before the Board.Comments:This bill is obviously aimed at shortening the time its takes to get a final decision from PERB.  In years past, it could take up to two years for the Board to issue a decision…

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AB 501 Would Bring JPA’s Under EERA; But Is It Necessary?

AB 501 was introduced by Assemblymember Nora Campos (D-San Jose) on February 15, 2011.  AB 501 would expand the definition of “public school employer” under EERA to include a joint powers agency (JPA) if: 1) the JPA is separate from the contracting parties to the joint powers agreement; 2) the JPA has its own employees; and, 3) the JPA is designated under statute or provides services primarily performed by either a “school district, county board of education, or county superintendent of schools” or is comprised solely of school agencies.This bill was just introduced so there is no legislative analysis available.  However, the…

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Court: Cross-Unit Bumping Is Negotiable; No Pre-Layoff Hearing Required for Economic Layoffs

Alameda County Management Employees Ass’n. v. Superior Court (Case No. A128697) (Issued on 3/7/11)In response to a budget deficit for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the Superior Court of Alameda County (Court) laid off 28 members in the bargaining unit represented by the Alameda County Management Employees Association (ACMEA). Under the Court’s personnel rules, an employee who is laid off has the right to “bump” into a position he or she previously held.  However, the Court negotiated a MOU with SEIU providing that an employee loses any “seniority” for calculating bumping rights if the employee leaves his or her position for…

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