Employee’s Challenge to SEIU Reorganization Dismissed

Service Employees International Union Local 1292 (PERB Dec. No. 1956-M) (Issued on 5/09/08)This case arose out of the implementation of SEIU’s “California Unite to Win” plan. With respect to local government employees, the plan called for the merger of dozens of existing locals into large regional locals. In Northern California, ten locals were merged into SEIU Local 1021 (“ten to one”).Lisa Marriott was an employee of Tehama County. Her exclusive representative was a Joint Council which consisted of IUOE Local 39 and SEIU Local 1292. Marriott belonged to a group of employees serviced primarily by SEIU Local 1292. In her…

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Union’s Right to Information Does Not Extend to Extra-Contractual Forums

Carmichael Recreation & Park District (PERB Dec. No. 1953-M) (Issued on 4/17/08)It is well-established under PERB precedent that a union is entitled to information "necessary and relevant" to represent employees in its role as the exclusive representative. There has been some confusion over the years as to whether the union’s right to information extends to extra-contractual forums. For example, many unions will agree to represent employees in disciplinary matters before personnel boards and/or civil service commissions. These forums are typically non-contractual and the employee’s right to a hearing is not controlled by the union.When a union does voluntarily assume representation…

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PERB Recognizes Doctrine of Judicial Estoppel

Trustees of the California State University (PERB Dec. No. 1949-H) (Issued on 3/24/08)The doctrine of “judicial estoppel” prevents a party from advocating a position in a legal proceeding that is contrary to a position taken previously in the same or some earlier proceeding. In the area of labor & employment law, judicial estoppel is often applied in situations involving disabled employees. A typical example involves an employee who claims he or she cannot perform the functions of a job when applying for disability benefits but asserts a contrary position when applying for a reasonable accommodation or other job benefit. Depending…

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PERB Chair to Speak at Bar Luncheon

Karen Neuwald, Chair of the Public Employment Relations Board, will be speaking on "What's New at PERB" at the March 25th luncheon of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the Sacramento County Bar Association.The luncheon is at 11:45 am. at the Firehouse Restaurant in Sacramento. Cost is $18 for members of the Sacramento County Bar Association or $23 for nonmembers. Contact Melissa Strand at 916-321-4500 or mstrand@kmtg.com for reservations.

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Court: PERB Has Jurisdiction Over Essential Employee Strikes

City of San Jose v. Operating Engineers Local No. 3 (6th District Court of Appeal, Case No. H030272) (Issued on 3/4/08)This is the first Court of Appeal decision addressing whether PERB or the superior courts have initial jurisdiction over “essential employee” strikes that threaten public health and safety. Cases involving this identical issue are also pending before the First and Third District Courts of Appeal.This case involved the City of San Jose. In May 2006, the City and Operating Engineers Local No. 3 failed to reach agreement on a new labor contract. On May 30, the Union notified the City…

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