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1108.01000 – In General

Here, the Office of the General Counsel’s effort to determine compliance through an exchange of correspondence, which in most cases is sufficient, was understandable. In the particular circumstances of this case, however, the better course would have been to issue a notice of hearing, summon the parties to present their evidence on contested issues, and thus obtain a complete record with the greatest possible speed. First, determination of disputed backpay amounts owed to affected employees, including whether employees failed to mitigate their damages, is well-suited for resolution at a hearing, where PERB Regulations give the parties and the hearing officer ample means to obtain the information necessary to make an accurate and complete determination of the respondent’s obligations. Second, a hearing becomes all the more necessary when the Office of the General Counsel believes, as was the case here, that the respondent is engaged in a pattern of delay or is otherwise acting to evade its obligations under a final Board order. Rather than enable obfuscation of the facts with endless rounds of unsworn correspondence, a formal hearing requires the respondent to put its evidence on the record under penalty of perjury. Finally, a hearing permits the hearing officer to craft a proposed order based on findings of fact and conclusions of law that articulates with specificity the steps the respondent must take to discharge its legal obligations. (pp. 8-9.)