More On What Constitute a “Reasonable” Local Rule

Further thoughts on City and County of San Francisco (PERB Dec. No. 1890M):The Board held that when the reasonableness of a local rule is at issue, the burden to demonstrate that the rule is "unreasonable" falls on the party attacking the rule. On this point, the Board held that:"Where a legislative action by a local governmental agency is attacked as unreasonable, the burden of proof is on the attacking party. Such regulations are presumed to be reasonable in the absence of proof to the contrary."How strong that presumption is remains to be seen. As mentioned below, there are many situations…

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PERB Recognizes “De Minimus” Standard

Newark Unified School District (PERB Dec. No. 1895E) (Issued 03/27/07)The case involved 3 consolidated unfair practice charges. All the charges stemmed from contract negotiations between the parties. The decision discusses various allegations of bad faith bargaining and unilateral change.Of interest is the finding regarding the employer’s unilateral implementation of a pre-paid legal services program for its employees. Although finding that the employer did make a unilateral change within the scope of representation, the Board agreed with the ALJ that the change was “de minimus” because there was no “generalized effect.” This was because the district promptly froze enrollment in the…

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No Unilateral Change

County of Siskiyou (PERB Dec. No. 1894M) (Issued 3/27/07)The issue in this case was whether the contract required that “extra help” employees be laid off prior to any permanent employees. The Board reached the same conclusion as the ALJ - to dismiss the complaint - but reached its decision based on a different rationale. The ALJ apparently had held that the contract language was ambiguous, and thus, found that the union had failed to meet its burden of proof to establish a ‘change.’The Board in its analysis attempted to harmonize the contract language with the County Code and the County’s…

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DFR Charge Dismissed

SEIU Local 790 (Chan) (PERB Dec. No. 1892M) (Issued 3/15/07)Employee alleged that union violated its duty of fair representation by failing to seek arbitration of employee’s termination. Applying well-settled law, Board dismissed the charge for failure to state a prima facie case.

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What is a Reasonable Local Rule?

City and County of San Francisco (PERB Dec. No. 1890M) (Issued 3/12/07)This is one of the first cases addressing whether a local rule is “reasonable” under the MMBA. The Board discussed the “reasonableness” standard in broad terms; finding that a local agency has discretion in adopting local rules as long as they do not “frustrate the declared policies and purposes of the MMBA.” In this case, the Board held that the impasse procedure set forth in the City Charter was not unreasonable on its face.This case is helpful in setting forth the general legal standards for determining whether a local…

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