Friday, May 10, 2013

PERB to Hold Oral Arguments on Jurisdiction Over Peace Officers

PERB will hold oral arguments in Lompoc Peace Officers Association v. City of Lompoc, to decide whether PERB has jurisdiction over "mixed units," bargaining units composed of both sworn and non-sworn employees.  This is the first time in about ten years PERB has scheduled oral arguments.

Government Code section 3511 is at the heart of the issue.  In 2000, the Legislature gave PERB jurisdiction over labor disputes in agencies covered by the MMBA.  But it made an exception.  Government Code section 3511 says those changes "shall not apply to persons who are peace officers as defined in Section 830.1 of the Penal Code."  There have been some disputes about what section 3511 really means.

In this case, the issue is whether PERB has authority to make peace officers whole in a bargaining unit composed of both peace officers and non-peace officers.  PERB initially decided the employer broke the law and ordered it to make the affected employees whole, but only the non-sworn employees.  The POA appealed, arguing the same remedy should apply to all of the employees in the bargaining unit, including the peace officers.  Oral argument will take place at PERB's Sacramento headquarters on June 13, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.