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Labor Beat Alerts

Frontal Assault on the Vested Pension Rights Doctrine

   Published on:  25 Aug, 2016

Last week, the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco issued a highly controversial decision in Marin Association of Public Employees v. Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association. The Court ruled that an employer may reduce pension benefits, before retirement, so long as the pension benefit remains “reasonable.” The Court offers no guidelines for what … continue reading

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Supreme Court’s Ruling in Friedrichs Stands and Fair Share Fees Survive – For Now

   Published on:  28 Jun, 2016

On Tuesday, June 28, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for rehearing filed by the California Teachers Association, as we predicted. Petitioner filed its April 8, 2016 petition shortly after the Court’s one-page opinion per curiam that affirmed the lower court’s judgment by an equally divided Court. The Supreme Court rescheduled consideration of … continue reading

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Cash Payments in Lieu of Medical Premiums Must be Included in Overtime Rate for FLSA Purposes

   Published on:  06 Jun, 2016

Yesterday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a significant ruling in Flores v. City of San Gabriel.  Determining what it described as both an “issue of first impression” and a “close call,” the Court concluded that when an employer gives cash payments to police officers who waive medical coverage, those payments must be INCLUDED … continue reading

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Gary Messing & Jason Jasmine Train California Labor and Employment Lawyers

   Published on:  03 May, 2016

On April 22, 2016, the Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar of California held its 33rd Annual Labor & Employment Law Meeting and Seminars in Berkeley. Gary Messing was selected to present a seminar on “The Nuts and Bolts of Bargaining in the Public Sector” to a class of experienced management and labor … continue reading

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Duty of Fair Representation is Violated When Certain Changes are Negotiated Without Members Being Noticed

   Published on:  11 Apr, 2016

PERB issued a notable decision in United Teachers of Los Angeles (Rains, et al.) (2016), PERB Decision No. 2475-E, on February 29, 2016. The 112-page decision dealt with a variety of procedural issues, which we will not address here. We address the part of the decision regarding whether the duty of fair representation (DFR) was … continue reading

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AB 646 Factfinding Procedures Apply to All Negotiations, Not Just “Main Table” Negotiations

   Published on:  01 Apr, 2016

Readers will be aware that in 2011 the Legislature passed AB 646 which, after it was signed by the Governor, made post-impasse factfinding part of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA)—if the union requests it. Factfinding had previously only been part of the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) and Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA). Under AB … continue reading

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Friedrichs: Public Sector Labor Unions Can Continue to Collect Fair Share Fees

   Published on:  29 Mar, 2016

In an unexpectedly short and swift ruling that issued today, the United States Supreme Court preserved the right of public sector labor unions to collect fair share fees.  In a one-sentence, 4-4 ruling, the Court left in place a 9th Circuit ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers’ Association that relied on the 1979 Supreme Court decision in … continue reading

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Consequences for Friedrichs After Scalia’s Death

   Published on:  17 Feb, 2016

Of most interest to public sector labor unions after Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent death is its impact on Friedrichs v. California Teachers’ Association, where the plaintiffs seek to prohibit the collection of agency fees and overturn Abood v. City of Detroit. Friedrichs was argued on January 11, and experts predicted a 5-4 ruling to ban … continue reading

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U.S. Supreme Court Likely to Outlaw Fair Share Fees

   Published on:  11 Jan, 2016

Oral argument was heard today by the United States Supreme Court in Friedrichs v. California Teachers’ Association.  Rebecca Friedrichs is an objector challenging the right of unions to collect agency or fair share fees from non-members as a contribution towards the cost of negotiating labor agreements.  She argues that paying fair share fees violates her First … continue reading

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San Diego Violated MMBA with Pension Reform Charter Measure

   Published on:  04 Jan, 2016

Good news: Unanimous panel of 3 PERB Board members finds that San Diego violated MMBA with 2012 ballot initiative that eliminated defined benefit pensions for new employees (except new cops), replacing them with 401k benefits. The Mayor refused to bargain by claiming he was presenting it as a private citizen, not as the Mayor. As … continue reading

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