REMEDIES FOR UNFAIR PRACTICES; REINSTATEMENT; BACKPAY BENEFITS – Restoration of Benefits
Single Topic for Decision 2464M
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1201.04000 – Restoration of Benefits
Although PERB’s traditional remedy for an employer’s unlawful unilateral change includes restoration of the prior status quo and appropriate make whole relief, including back pay and benefits with interest thereon, for all employees who have suffered loss as a result of the unlawful conduct, the Board does not have jurisdiction to rescind a municipal election to overturn a ballot measure. Where City’s unilateral change to employee pension benefits was enacted through citizen’s initiative, PERB lacked jurisdiction to order the election results rescinded but ordered the City to pay affected employees the difference for the resulting change in pension benefits, plus interest at seven percent per annum. Restoring injured parties and affected employees to their respective positions before an unfair practice occurred is critical to an effective Board-ordered remedy because it prevents the employer from gaining a one-sided and unfair advantage in negotiations and thereby forcing the employees’ representative to talk the employer back to terms previously agreed to. Where the Board lacks jurisdiction to order an unfair practice reversed, it may award compensatory damages, including attorneys’ fees and costs for separate litigation that is necessary to obtain complete relief from the unfair practice.