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Public Sector Cases

Noteworthy Public Sector Cases Litigated by Beeson, Tayer & Bodine Attorneys

  • University of California (PERB 2021) In a case of first impression under the Prohibition on Public Employers Deterring or Discouraging Union Membership law (PEDD), PERB ruled that the University violated PEDD by unilaterally distributing a memo to all represented employees, members and non-members alike, immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus advising that it would stop deducting agency fees for non-members and that non-members could find out how much would no longer be deducted from their paychecks by contacting the University.
  • City of San Jose (PERB 2013) PERB ruled that an employer’s insistence that discussion of a mandatory subject of bargaining – for example, retirement benefits – be the subject of a contract reopener, and thus deferred until agreement was reached on all other subjects, constitutes unlawful “piece meal” bargaining which is both an indicator of bad-faith, surface bargaining and a “per se” violation by itself.
  • Retired Peace Officers Assn. v. PORAC (Sacramento Superior Court, 2012) The trial court held that officers and representatives of the Association did not breach a fiduciary duty or other obligation owed to an affiliated organization that had sued PORAC after the Association modified its bylaws, including an increase in the dues rate owed by the affiliates. In addition, the court ordered the affiliate to pay all outstanding dues and interest owed to the Association.
  • Paulsen v. Teamsters Local 856 (Cal. Court of Appeal, 2011) In a case of first impression, the Court of Appeal agreed with the union that if any county or city employee covered by the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) claims that the union breached the duty of fair representation, the employee must file an unfair practice charge with PERB rather than a lawsuit in court. Claims for unpaid wages as compensation for a union’s breach of the duty of fair representation also are considered unfair practice charges within PERB’s exclusive jurisdiction.
  • Santa Clara Valley Transp. Authority v. Rea (Cal. Court of Appeal, 2006). Court of Appeal reversed trial court holding that public employer required to recognize union representing managerial and supervisory employees notwithstanding employer’s argument that under the federal Labor Management Relations Act an employer may not be compelled to bargain with supervisors and managers.