Single Topic for Decision 2712M

View all topics for Decision 2712M

Full Decision Text (click on the link to view): Full Text

1100.08000 – Pleading Requirements

PERB has relatively few formal pleading rules, though PERB Regulation 32615, subdivision (a)(5) requires that a charging party should provide a clear and concise statement of the facts alleged to constitute an unfair practice. OGC need not scour charges looking for obscure deviations from policy that a charging party fails to point out, but PERB Regulation 32620, subdivision (b)(1) requires OGC to assist the charging party in stating the information that Regulation 32615 requires. These standards apply irrespective of parties’ legal sophistication or whether they are represented by counsel. PERB’s efforts to provide equal access to justice to all are evident, for instance, in its decision in National Union of Healthcare Workers (2012) PERB Decision No. 2249-M. There, PERB noted that while it is useful to explain to a charging party that the goal of an unfair practice charge should be to specify the “who, what, when, where and how” of the charge, that formulation is not a “litmus test” or “hurdle over which every charging party must leap at the risk of dismissal.” (Id. at p. 15.) Sound public policy reasons support PERB’s preference for hearing cases on their merits, notwithstanding technical non-compliance with matters of form. “We are sensitive to the fact that PERB is not a court, but an administrative agency, and that the formalities of practice and procedure in the judicial system are not always appropriate for fulfilment of PERB’s mission, which includes assisting parties and representatives who are laypersons.” (County of San Luis Obispo (2015) PERB Decision No. 2427-M, p. 28.) (p. 22., fn. 7.)