All notes for Subtopic 201.02000 – Agents (See also 1400)

DecisionDescriptionPERC Vol.PERC IndexDate
2464M City of San Diego * * * Decision upheld on appeal to the California Supreme Court (8/2/2018); limited review of remedial order on remand. * * *
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Under PERB’s Inglewood test, the party asserting an agency relationship by way of apparent authority has the burden of proving that theory by competent and admissible but not necessarily direct evidence. Because the test is an objective one whose inquiry is what employees would reasonably believe under the circumstances, what any particular employee subjectively believed is not determinative. An employer’s high-ranking officials, particularly those whose duties include employee or labor relations or collective bargaining matters, are generally presumed to speak and act on behalf of the employer, such that their words and conduct may be used to impute liability in unfair practice cases against the employer. A public employer may be held responsible for the actions of its highest ranking representatives or officials, even when they are engaged in ostensibly “private” conduct that contravenes the employer’s official policy. Where the City Council knew of the Mayor’s efforts to alter employee pension benefits through a ballot measure, of his use of the vestments and prestige of his office to promote this policy change, and, of his rejection of repeated requests from the Unions to meet and confer regarding this change, PERB found that City Council’s failure to repudiate Mayor’s conduct, including his outright refusal to meet and confer over the decision, City Council ratified Mayor’s conduct. more or view all topics or full text.
4010812/29/15
2384H Trustees of the California State University
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Under broad principles of agency used in federal labor law and adopted by PERB, there exists a rebuttable presumption that an employer is responsible for the conduct of its supervisors. An employer’s responsibility for the coercive acts of its representatives is not limited by the technical rules of agency or respondeat superior; questions of agency must be determined with reference to the statute’s remedial purpose of protecting employee rights. more or view all topics or full text.
391606/30/14
2332E Santa Ana Unified School District
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Under either the judicial or PERB tests to establish ostensible or apparent authority of an employer’s agent, a union’s reliance on the authority of an employer’s attorney and bargaining representative to bind the employer to a settlement agreement of a PERB unfair practice charge is reasonable.) Ratification by a vote of a school district’s governing board is not the sine qua non of a binding agreement entered into by a district’s duly authorized agent. 1102. CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; DEFERRAL TO ARBITRATION 1102.01 Pre-Arbitration Contractual limitation on the scope of an arbitrator’s authority to fully remedy contract violations that are also unfair practices could render resort to arbitration futile within the meaning of EERA section 3541.5(a)(2). A dispute over whether a contractual provision is an express term of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement or not fails to meet the statutory requirement of EERA section 3541.5(a)(2) that the grievance machinery cover “the matter at issue” for deferral purposes. When asking an arbitrator to decide whether a collective bargaining agreement contains a particular provision would exceed the arbitrator’s authority, resort to arbitration would be futile under EERA section 3541.5(a)(2). Resort to arbitration would be futile under EERA section 3541.5(a)(2) when a union lacks authority under the relevant contract to pursue grievances in its own name for the disputed matters. more or view all topics or full text.
385110/03/13
2164M West Contra Costa County Healthcare District
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Apparent authority requires a showing of facts to indicate that the actions of the employer created a reasonable basis for employees to believe that employer authorized employee to act on its behalf. The mere fact that lead worker had authority to perform some supervisory duties was insufficient to establish that lead worker had apparent authority to act on behalf of the employer in circulating a petition seeking to restrict union’s access to bargaining unit employees. more or view all topics or full text.
354502/24/11
1771H Regents of the University of California
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Sarka failed to present evidence that the Independent Party Reviewer, who conducted the fact-finding hearing, was an agent of the University. Sarka’s belief that the Independent Party Reviewer was an agent does not suffice to support an allegation of agency. Mere surprise is insufficient to impose liability based on a theory of apparent authority. more or view all topics or full text.
2914406/24/05
1766M City of Monterey
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
The City Council in this matter is not a “neutral decider of cases,” but rather acted as an agent of the City and responsible for the City’s actions. more or view all topics or full text.
2913005/20/05
1760H Trustees of the California State University
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Skelley officer’s actions cannot be imputed to the university without evidence showing the university authorized him to act. more or view all topics or full text.
2910503/30/05
1518E Compton Unified School District
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Allegation in complaint that employer instructed employee to warn new teachers not to be influenced by union placed employer on notice that agency was at issue in the case. Even if employer was not placed on notice by the complaint, the agency issue could be addressed as an unalleged violation since the issue was addressed at hearing, both parties presented evidence on the issue and cross-examined witnesses, and both parties thoroughly briefed the issue establish that the issue. Although employee was not an actual agent of the employer, employee acted with ostensible or apparent authority when she entered a union meeting and warned all new teachers to leave. Employer accepted responsibility for employee’s actions by refusing to disavow or repudiate employee’s actions when they become known. more or view all topics or full text.
275604/18/03
1485M City of Huntington Park
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Charging party failed to show that at the time an individual took alleged action against him, that the individual was acting in her capacity as agent of city, especially in light of statement in charge that the individual was an assistant to the Governor of California. more or view all topics or full text.
263308106/17/02

201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Tort doctrine of respondent superior should not be applied in the labor law context making it automatic that a public school district would be liable for all unfair practices committed by its agents. [227 Cal.App.3d at 779] Existence of agency to be determined on a case-by-case approach on the basis of whether the employees could reasonably believe that the supervisor was acting within the scope of his or her employment when the supervisor committed an unfair labor practice. [227 Cal.App.3d at 780] No evidence to justify that a supervisor had ostensible or apparent authority to file the lawsuit. Since such authority must be established through the acts of the principal, apparent authority requires a showing that the district represented that it authorized the lawsuit and that the teachers had a reasonable perception that requires a showing that the district represented that it authorized the lawsuit and that the teachers had a reasonable perception that confers upon the agent, or intentionally, or by want of ordinary care, allows the agent to believe himself to possess. [227 Cal.App.3d at 781 Ostensible or apparent authority is that which a principal intentionally, or by want of ordinary care, causes or allows a third person to believe the agent to possess. [227 Cal.App.3d at 781] Court affirmed PERB's conclusion that the appropriate legal standard for determining agency is based on contract law as expressed by Member Gonzales in Antelope Valley CCD (1979) PERB Decision No. 97 (case-by-case approach). [227 Cal.App.3d at 776-777] more or view all topics or full text.
1305S State of California (Department of Personnel Administration) (International Union of Operating Engineers)
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Dills act section 3513(j) defines the State employer for purposes of bargaining as the Governor or his designated representatives. As the Governor's designee, DPA may in turn delegate bargaining authority to State agencies or departments, at its discretion. more or view all topics or full text.
233003112/22/98
1185E Healdsburg Union High School District
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Animus of administrators can be imputed to school Board where information relied on by Board came from administrators and Board, like administrators misidentified documents; p. 52, proposed dec. more or view all topics or full text.
212805502/24/97
0792E Inglewood Unified School District
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Agency The burden of proving agency is on the party asserting its existence; p. 19. Although school principal was actual agent, Association did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he was acting within the scope of his authority when he filed a civil lawsuit; p. 19. The record evidence did not justify finding of either express or ostensible/apparent authority to file the civil lawsuit. The fact that a complaint was sent through District mail was insufficient to establish agency where that was the entire extent of the District's involvement in the lawsuit; p. 20. The Association failed to prove the District had knowledge of the lawsuit, which knowledge was essential to a finding that the District ratified or condoned the filing; p. 21. lawsuit, which knowledge was essential to a finding that the District ratified or condoned the filing; p. 21. concerning the principal's filing of a civil lawsuit be sufficient to confer ostensible authority. The doctrine of respondent superior is inapplicable in the labor law context; p. 25. (Appeal pending Inglewood Teachers Association v. PERB/Inglewood Unified School District, 2nd DCA/Div. 7, Case No. B048803) more or view all topics or full text.
142105702/15/90
0793H California State University (California Faculty Association)
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
School principals and assistant superintendents are agents of the school district. more or view all topics or full text.
142105802/16/90
0649E Compton Community College District
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
In order to state a prima facie case (in an unfair practice charge) of an agency relationship between a non-supervisory or non-managerial employee and the employer, some factual demonstration of a relationship beyond employment alone is necessary. Some facts must be alleged which show the employee was acting with some direction, instigation, approval or ratification of the action by the employer. A conclusionary statement that he "was following the directions of the District in attacking the Charging Party" is insufficient under PERB Regulation 32615(a) (5). more or view all topics or full text.
121901612/21/87
0533E Office of Kern County Superintendent of Schools
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Supervisor found to be employer's agent even though conduct not specifically authorized. Union failed to show that certain employees were "supervisors" under EERA; applies same burden of proof as in unit determinations to analyze whether employees are agents of employer during decertification campaign. more or view all topics or full text.
91623706/09/85
0521H Service Employees International Union Local 87 (Hornet Foundation, Inc.)
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Jurisdictional issue of whether a nonprofit public benefit corporation, an auxiliary organization to CSU, is an "employer" under HEERA must be resolved initially. more or view all topics or full text.
91621109/20/85
0493H California State University (Watts)
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Committee on collective bargaining, as agent of the board of trustees, is within the definition of "higher education employer" and, thus, could properly adopt initial proposals. more or view all topics or full text.
91609703/14/85
0284E Shasta Union High School District
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Board affirms Regional Attorney's dismissal of alleged section 3543.5(a) and 3543.6(b) violations as no facts alleged that respondents were acting on behalf of employer or as a group of employees; RA letter, pp. 3-4. more or view all topics or full text.
71406802/14/83
0137E San Diego Unified School District
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Actions of two school board members who wrote letters of commendation to non-strikers are acts of the employer. Letters were written on official school district stationary, board members signed letters with their official board titles, other three members of the school board effectively ratified the action by failing to act when given notice of the letters, and District management authorized placement of the letters in employee personnel files. Education Code sections defining what constitutes an official act of a school board are irrelevant. more or view all topics or full text.
41111506/19/80
0097E Antelope Valley Community College District
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Agency found where the District designated particular employees supervisory, it cooperated with those employees attempts to organize classified employees by allowing the use of District facilities, it remained silent during the organizing and created impression that the supervisors spoke with District authority; pp. 9-16. more or view all topics or full text.
31009807/18/79
0920S State of California (Office of Lieutenant Governor)
201.2000: PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?; Agents (See also 1400)
Board affirmed dismissal of charge that Lt. Gov. violated section 3519(d) of Dills on grounds that Lt. Gov. is not an employer under the Dills Act, where no facts demonstrating Lt. Gov. acted as an agent of the Governor. more or view all topics or full text.
162302701/14/92