Meyers-Milias Brown Act

CHAPTER 10

MEYERS-MILIAS-BROWN ACT

LOCAL PUBLIC EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONS

3500. Purpose and intent

(a) It is the purpose of this chapter to promote full communication between public employers and their employees by providing a reasonable method of resolving disputes regarding wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment between public employers and public employee organizations. It is also the purpose of this chapter to promote the improvement of personnel management and employer-employee relations within the various public agencies in the State of California by providing a uniform basis for recognizing the right of public employees to join organizations of their own choice and be represented by those organizations in their employment relationships with public agencies. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to supersede the provisions of existing state law and the charters, ordinances, and rules of local public agencies that establish and regulate a merit or civil service system or which provide for other methods of administering employer-employee relations nor is it intended that this chapter be binding upon those public agencies that provide procedures for the administration of employer-employee relations in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. This chapter is intended, instead, to strengthen merit, civil service and other methods of administering employer-employee relations through the establishment of uniform and orderly methods of communication between employees and the public agencies by which they are employed.

(b) The Legislature finds and declares that the duties and responsibilities of local agency employer representatives under this chapter are substantially similar to the duties and responsibilities required under existing collective bargaining enforcement procedures and therefore the costs incurred by the local agency employer representatives in performing those duties and responsibilities under this chapter are not reimbursable as state-mandated costs.

3500.5 Short title

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Meyers-Milias-Brown Act."

 

3501. Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(a) "Employee organization" means any organization which includes employees of a public agency and which has as one of its primary purposes representing those employees in their relations with that public agency.

(b) "Recognized employee organization" means an employee organization which has been formally acknowledged by the public agency as an employee organization that represents employees of the public agency.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, "public agency" means every governmental subdivision, every district, every public and quasi-public corporation, every public agency and public service corporation and every town, city, county, city and county and municipal corporation, whether incorporated or not and whether chartered or not. As used in this chapter, "public agency" does not mean a school district or a county board of education or a county superintendent of schools or a personnel commission in a school district having a merit system as provided in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 45100) of Part 25 and Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 88000) of Part 51 of the Education Code or the State of California.

(d) "Public employee" means any person employed by any public agency, including employees of the fire departments and fire services of counties, cities, cities and counties, districts, and other political subdivisions of the state, excepting those persons elected by popular vote or appointed to office by the Governor of this state.

(e) "Mediation" means effort by an impartial third party to assist in reconciling a dispute regarding wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment between representatives of the public agency and the recognized employee organization or recognized employee organizations through interpretation, suggestion and advice.

(f) "Board" means the Public Employment Relations Board established pursuant to Section 3541.

3501.5. Public agency

As used in this chapter, "public agency" does not mean a superior court or municipal court.

3502. Right to join or abstain; individual representation

Except as otherwise provided by the Legislature, public employees shall have the right to form, join, and participate in the activities of employee organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of representation on all matters of employer-employee relations. Public employees also shall have the right to refuse to join or participate in the activities of employee organizations and shall have the right to represent themselves individually in their employment relations with the public agency.

3502.5. Agency shop agreements; payments in lieu of dues or fees; rescission; application; records

(a) Notwithstanding Section 3502 or 3502.6, or any other provision of this chapter, or any other law, rule, or regulation, an agency shop agreement may be negotiated between a public agency and a recognized public employee organization which has been recognized as the exclusive or majority bargaining agent pursuant to reasonable rules and regulations, ordinances, and enactments, in accordance with this chapter. As used in this chapter, "agency shop" means an arrangement that requires an employee, as a condition of continued employment, either to join the recognized employee organization, or to pay the organization a service fee in an amount not to exceed the standard initiation fee, periodic dues, and general assessments of the organization.

(b) In addition to the procedure prescribed in subdivision (a), an agency shop arrangement between the public agency and a recognized employee organization that has been recognized as the exclusive or majority bargaining agent shall be placed in effect, without a negotiated agreement, upon (1) a signed petition of 30 percent of the employees in the applicable bargaining unit requesting an agency shop agreement and an election to implement an agency fee arrangement, and (2) the approval of a majority of employees who cast ballots and vote in a secret ballot election in favor of the agency shop agreement. The petition may only be filed after good faith negotiations, not to exceed 30 days, have taken place between the parties in an effort to reach agreement. An election that may not be held more frequently than once a year shall be conducted by the Division of Conciliation of the Department of Industrial Relations in the event that the public agency and the recognized employee organization cannot agree within 10 days from the filing of the petition to select jointly a neutral person or entity to conduct the election. In the event of an agency fee arrangement outside of an agreement that is in effect, the recognized employee organization shall indemnify and hold the public agency harmless against any liability arising from any claims, demands, or other action relating to the public agency's compliance with the agency fee obligation.

(c) Any employee who is a member of a bona fide religion, body, or sect that has historically held conscientious objections to joining or financially supporting public employee organizations shall not be required to join or financially support any public employee organization as a condition of employment. The employee may be required, in lieu of periodic dues, initiation fees, or agency shop fees, to pay sums equal to the dues, initiation fees, or agency shop fees to a nonreligious, nonlabor charitable fund exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, chosen by the employee from a list of at least three of these funds, designated in a memorandum of understanding between the public agency and the public employee organization, or if the memorandum of understanding fails to designate the funds, then to any such fund chosen by the employee. Proof of the payments shall be made on a monthly basis to the public agency as a condition of continued exemption from the requirement of financial support to the public employee organization.

(d) An agency shop provision in a memorandum of understanding that is in effect may be rescinded by a majority vote of all the employees in the unit covered by the memorandum of understanding, provided that: (1) a request for such a vote is supported by a petition containing the signatures of at least 30 percent of the employees in the unit; (2) the vote is by secret ballot; (3) the vote may be taken at any time during the term of the memorandum of understanding, but in no event shall there be more than one vote taken during that term. Notwithstanding the above, the public agency and the recognized employee organization may negotiate, and by mutual agreement provide for, an alternative procedure or procedures regarding a vote on an agency shop agreement. The procedures in this subdivision are also applicable to an agency shop agreement placed in effect pursuant to subdivision (b).

(e) An agency shop arrangement shall not apply to management, confidential, or supervisory employees.

(f) Every recognized employee organization that has agreed to an agency shop provision or is a party to an agency shop arrangement shall keep an adequate itemized record of its financial transactions and shall make available annually, to the public agency with which the agency shop provision was negotiated, and to the employees who are members of the organization, within 60 days after the end of its fiscal year, a detailed written financial report thereof in the form of a balance sheet and an operating statement, certified as to accuracy by its president and treasurer or corresponding principal officer, or by a certified public accountant. An employee organization required to file financial reports under the Labor-Management Disclosure Act of 1959 covering employees governed by this chapter, or required to file financial reports under Section 3546.5, may satisfy the financial reporting requirement of this section by providing the public agency with a copy of the financial reports.

3503. Representation of members; membership admission and dismissal regulation; right of personal appearance

Recognized employee organizations shall have the right to represent their members in their employment relations with public agencies. Employee organizations may establish reasonable restrictions regarding who may join and may make reasonable provisions for the dismissal of individuals from membership. Nothing in this section shall prohibit any employee from appearing in his own behalf in his employment relations with the public agency.

3504. Scope of representation

The scope of representation shall include all matters relating to employment conditions and employer-employee relations, including, but not limited to, wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment, except, however, that the scope of representation shall not include consideration of the merits, necessity, or organization of any service or activity provided by law or executive order.

3504.5. Notice of proposed act relating to matters within scope of representation; meeting; emergencies

Except in cases of emergency as provided in this section, the governing body of a public agency, and boards and commissions designated by law or by such governing body, shall give reasonable written notice to each recognized employee organization affected of any ordinance, rule, resolution, or regulation directly relating to matters within the scope of representation proposed to be adopted by the governing body or such boards and commissions and shall give such recognized employee organization the opportunity to meet with the governing body or such boards and commissions.

In cases of emergency when the governing body or such boards and commissions determine that an ordinance, rule, resolution or regulation must be adopted immediately without prior notice or meeting with a recognized employee organization, the governing body or such boards and commissions shall provide such notice and opportunity to meet at the earliest practicable time following the adoption of such ordinance, rule, resolution, or regulation.

 

3505. Conferences; meet and confer in good faith

The governing body of a public agency, or such boards, commissions, administrative officers or other representatives as may be properly designated by law or by such governing body, shall meet and confer in good faith regarding wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment with representatives of such recognized employee organizations, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 3501, and shall consider fully such presentations as are made by the employee organization on behalf of its members prior to arriving at a determination of policy or course of action.

"Meet and confer in good faith" means that a public agency, or such representatives as it may designate, and representatives of recognized employee organizations, shall have the mutual obligation personally to meet and confer promptly upon request by either party and continue for a reasonable period of time in order to exchange freely information, opinions, and proposals, and to endeavor to reach agreement on matters within the scope of representation prior to the adoption by the public agency of its final budget for the ensuing year. The process should include adequate time for the resolution of impasses where specific procedures for such resolution are contained in local rule, regulation, or ordinance, or when such procedures are utilized by mutual consent.

3505.1. Memorandum of agreement

If agreement is reached by the representatives of the public agency and a recognized employee organization or recognized employee organizations, they shall jointly prepare a written memorandum of such understanding, which shall not be binding, and present it to the governing body or its statutory representative for determination.

3505.2. Mediation; appointment of mediator; costs

If after a reasonable period of time, representatives of the public agency and the recognized employee organization fail to reach agreement, the public agency and the recognized employee organization or recognized employee organizations together may agree upon the appointment of a mediator mutually agreeable to the parties.

Costs of mediation shall be divided one-half to the public agency and one-half to the recognized employee organization or recognized employee organizations.

 

3505.3. Time off allowances to employee representatives

Public agencies shall allow a reasonable number of public agency employee representatives of recognized employee organizations reasonable time off without loss of compensation or other benefits when formally meeting and conferring with representatives of the public agency on matters within the scope of representation.

3505.4. Impasse; implementation of last, best, and final offer

If after meeting and conferring in good faith, an impasse has been reached between the public agency and the recognized employee organization, and impasse procedures, where applicable, have been exhausted, a public agency that is not required to proceed to interest arbitration may implement its last, best, and final offer, but shall not implement a memorandum of understanding.  The unilateral implementation of a public agency's last, best, and final offer shall not deprive a recognized employee organization of the right each year to meet and confer on matters within the scope of representation, whether or not those matters are included in the unilateral implementation, prior to the adoption by the public agency of its annual budget, or as otherwise required by law.

3506. Discrimination prohibited

Public agencies and employee organizations shall not interfere with, intimidate, restrain, coerce or discriminate against public employees because of their exercise of their rights under

3507. Rules and regulations

A public agency may adopt reasonable rules and regulations after consultation in good faith with representatives of an employee organization or organizations for the administration of employer-employee relations under this chapter (commencing with Section 3500).

Such rules and regulations may include provisions for

(a) verifying that an organization does in fact represent employees of the public agency

(b) verifying the official status of employee organization officers and representatives

(c) recognition of employee organizations

(d) exclusive recognition of employee organizations formally recognized pursuant to a vote of the employees of the agency or an appropriate unit thereof, subject to the right of an employee to represent himself as provided in Section 3502

(e) additional procedures for the resolution of disputes involving wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment

(f) access of employee organization officers and representatives to work locations

(g) use of official bulletin boards and other means of communication by employee organizations

(h) furnishing nonconfidential information pertaining to employment relations to employee organizations

(i) such other matters as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

Exclusive recognition of employee organizations formally recognized as majority representatives pursuant to a vote of the employees may be revoked by a majority vote of the employees only after a period of not less than 12 months following the date of such recognition.

No public agency shall unreasonably withhold recognition of employee organizations.

3507.1. Unit determinations and representation elections

(a) Unit determinations and representation elections shall be determined and processed in accordance with rules adopted by a public agency in accordance with this chapter. In a representation election, a majority of the votes cast by the employees in the appropriate bargaining unit shall be required.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) and rules adopted by a public agency pursuant to Section 3507, a bargaining unit in effect as of the effective date of this section shall continue in effect unless changed under the rules adopted by a public agency pursuant to Section 3507.

3507.3. Professional employees; representation; submission of dispute to division of conciliation

Professional employees shall not be denied the right to be represented separately from nonprofessional employees by a professional employee organization consisting of such professional employees. In the event of a dispute on the appropriateness of a unit of representation for professional employees, upon request of any of the parties, the dispute shall be submitted to the Division of Conciliation of the Department of Industrial Relations for mediation or for recommendation for resolving the dispute.

"Professional employees," for the purposes of this section, means employees engaged in work requiring specialized knowledge and skills attained through completion of a recognized course of instruction, including, but not limited to, attorneys, physicians, registered nurses, engineers, architects, teachers, and the various types of physical, chemical, and biological scientists.

3507.5. Designation of management and confidential employees of public agency

In addition to those rules and regulations a public agency may adopt pursuant to and in the same manner as in Section 3507, any such agency may adopt reasonable rules and regulations providing for designation of the management and confidential employees of the public agency and restricting such employees from representing any employee organization, which represents other employees of the public agency, on matters within the scope of representation. Except as specifically provided otherwise in this chapter, this section does not otherwise limit the right of employees to be members of and to hold office in an employee organization.

3508. Law enforcement positions; exclusion from employee organizations; classification of positions in specified counties

(a) The governing body of a public agency may, in accordance with reasonable standards, designate positions or classes of positions which have duties consisting primarily of the enforcement of state laws or local ordinances, and may by resolution or ordinance adopted after a public hearing, limit or prohibit the right of employees in these positions or classes of positions to form, join, or participate in employee organizations where it is in the public interest to do so. However, the governing body may not prohibit the right of its employees who are full-time "peace officers" as that term is defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, to join or participate in employee organizations which are composed solely of those peace officers, which concern themselves solely and exclusively with the wages, hours, working conditions, welfare programs, and advancement of the academic and vocational training in furtherance of the police profession, and which are not subordinate to any other organization.

(b)(1) This subdivision shall apply only to a county of the seventh class.

(2) For the purposes of this section, no distinction shall be made between a position designated as a peace officer position by Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code at the time of the enactment of the 1971 amendments to this section, and a welfare fraud investigator or inspector position designated as a peace officer position by any amendment to that Chapter 4.5 at any time after the enactment of the 1971 amendments to this section.

(3) It is the intent of this subdivision to overrule San Bernardino County Sheriff's Etc. Assn. v. Board of Supervisors (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 602, 611, with respect to San Bernardino County

designating a welfare fraud investigator or inspector as a peace officer under this section.

(c) The right of employees to form, join and participate in the activities of employee organizations shall not be restricted by a public agency on any grounds other than those set forth in this section.

3508.5. Right to authorize dues deductions; effect of chapter

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall affect the right of a public employee to authorize a dues or service fees deduction from his or her salary or wages pursuant to Section 1157.1, 1157.2, 1157.3, 1157.4, 1157.5, or 1157.7.

(b) A public employer shall deduct the payment of dues or service fees to a recognized employee organization as required by an agency shop arrangement between the recognized employee organization and the public employer.

(c) Agency fee obligations, including, but not limited to, dues or agency fee deductions on behalf of a recognized employee organization, shall continue in effect as long as the employee organization is the recognized bargaining representative, notwithstanding the expiration of any agreement between the public employer and the recognized employee organization.

3509. Board; powers and duties; unfair practices; rules

(a) The powers and duties of the board described in Section 3541.3 shall also apply, as appropriate, to this chapter and shall include the authority as set forth in subdivisions (b) and (c).

(b) A complaint alleging any violation of this chapter or of any rules and regulations adopted by a public agency pursuant to Section 3507 shall be processed as an unfair practice charge by the board. The initial determination as to whether the charge of unfair practice is justified and, if so, the appropriate remedy necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter, shall be a matter within the exclusive jurisdiction of the board. The board shall apply and interpret unfair labor practices consistent with existing judicial interpretations of this chapter.

(c) The board shall enforce and apply rules adopted by a public agency concerning unit determinations, representation, recognition, and elections.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, the employee relations commissions established by, and in effect for, the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles pursuant to Section 3507 shall have the power and responsibility to take actions on recognition, unit determinations, elections, and unfair practices, and to issue determinations and orders as the employee relations commissions deem necessary, consistent with and pursuant to the policies of this chapter.

(e) This section shall not apply to employees designated as management employees under Section 3507.5.

(f) Implementation of this section is subject to the appropriation of funds for this purpose in the annual Budget Act.

(g) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2001.

3510. Construction of chapter

(a) The provisions of this chapter shall be interpreted and applied by the board in a manner consistent with and in accordance with judicial interpretations of this chapter.

(b) The enactment of this chapter shall not be construed as making the provisions of Section 923 of the Labor Code applicable to public employees.

3511. Application of amendments made by 1999-2000 regular session legislation

The changes made to Sections 3501, 3507.1, and 3509 of the Government Code by legislation enacted during the 1999-2000 Regular Session of the Legislature shall not apply to persons who are peace officers as defined in Section 830.1 of the Penal Code.