GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL; RES JUDICATA – Type or Nature of Prior Proceeding

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1405.00000 – GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL; RES JUDICATA
1405.02000 – Type or Nature of Prior Proceeding

State Personnel Board (SPB) decision reviewing disciplinary action against a state employee did not have a claim preclusion effect on employee’s claim that the state retaliated against him for activity the Dills Act protects for multiple related reasons. First, Dills Act section 3514.5 grants PERB exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate claims that the state retaliated against an employee for activity the Dills Act protects, and SPB has no such jurisdiction. (Pacific Legal Foundation v. Brown (1981) 29 Cal.3d 168, 197-198 (Pacific Legal Foundation).) Second, the court of appeal has repeatedly emphasized the exclusivity of PERB’s jurisdiction. (See McPherson v. Public Employment Relations Bd. (1987) 189 Cal.App.3d 293, 311 [Legislature afforded PERB exclusive initial jurisdiction over all claims of discrimination based on union activity].) Third, the same types of considerations have led the court of appeal to reject claim preclusion arguments in a similar setting. (George v. California Unemployment Ins. Appeals Bd. (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 1475, 1483-1485 [no claim preclusion where FEHA claim asserted a different primary right from employee’s claim before the SPB].) PERB’s jurisdiction to remedy unfair practice charges is independent of SPB’s jurisdiction. (State Personnel Bd. v. Fair Employment and Housing Com. (1985) 39 Cal.3d 422, 437-440 (FEHC) [citing Pacific Legal Foundation, supra, 29 Cal.3d at p. 197].) Accordingly, claim preclusion does not apply when PERB resolves a Dills Act discrimination charge after SPB has already issued a final decision as to whether the state had adequate cause to issue discipline. (pp. 21-23.)