PERB Releases Yearly Report, Unfair Practice Charge Filings Decrease

mike photoAuthor: Michael Tucker, Attorney at Law 

The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) released its annual report detailing its activity for 2014-2015.  This report is useful to help public employers gauge their activities relative to other public employers.

 

Results:

Unfair Practice Charges Filed: 695
Cases Closed by Administrative Law Judges: 163
PERB Board Decisions: 74
Unfair Practice Charges Withdrawn/Settled: 466
EERA/HEERA Mediation Requests: 120
Fact Finding Requests: 57

 

Based on the above statistics, a vast majority of PERB filings are settled before reaching a hearing decision.  Moreover, most cases are withdrawn or settled before even making it to a hearing.  These statistics confirm most employee disputes are resolved either through PERB directed mediation or discussions between the parties prior to litigation.

As with most types of litigation, employee disputes are frequently resolved prior to a hearing.  However, a PERB case filing often creates increased employer legal costs.   Typically, the longer any dispute lasts, the more expensive the case can become.  For example, Burbank Unified School District is looking at a potential $5.5 million dollar price tag for a sexual harassment suit in which the district is seeking appeal.  (Matthew Heller, “Think Twice Before Suing This School District” California Lawyer, Oct. 2015).  Fortunately, as these statistics indicate, most employee disputes are resolved prior to formal dispute resolution.  It is often in the parties’ best interests to settle a dispute prior to a PERB hearing because it avoids additional costs and the uncertainty of a PERB ruling.  It can also help the parties move past the dispute more quickly since they must continue to work together on other matters.

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