Decision 2032H – Trustees of the California State University (San Jose)

SF-CE-841-H

Decision Date: May 29, 2009

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 33
Perc Index: 94

Decision Headnotes

1101.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; LIMITATION PERIOD FOR FILING CHARGE
1101.01000 – In General

HEERA allows the Board to equitably toll the statute of limitations for filing a charge with PERB in appropriate circumstances. Equitable tolling can easily be reconciled with HEERA’s fundamental purpose of promoting harmonious labor relations. The Board adopts the same test set forth in Long Beach Community College District (2009) PERB Decision No. 2002 to determine whether the statute of limitations under HEERA will be tolled when the negotiated dispute resolution procedure ends in binding arbitration: (1) the procedure is contained in a written agreement negotiated by the parties; (2) the procedure is being used to resolve the same dispute that is the subject of the unfair practice charge; (3) the charging party reasonably and in good faith pursues the procedure; and (4) tolling does not frustrate the purpose of the statutory limitation period by causing surprise or prejudice to the respondent.

1101.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; LIMITATION PERIOD FOR FILING CHARGE
1101.03000 – Computation of Six-Month Period

Even if equitable tolling applied, unfair practice charge under HEERA would still be untimely, where charge was not filed until nearly one year after conclusion of grievance procedure.

1101.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; LIMITATION PERIOD FOR FILING CHARGE
1101.06000 – Statutory and Equitable Tolling

The Board adopts the same test set forth in Long Beach Community College District (2009) PERB Decision No. 2002 to determine whether the statute of limitations under HEERA will be tolled when the negotiated dispute resolution procedure ends in binding arbitration: (1) the procedure is contained in a written agreement negotiated by the parties; (2) the procedure is being used to resolve the same dispute that is the subject of the unfair practice charge; (3) the charging party reasonably and in good faith pursues the procedure; and (4) tolling does not frustrate the purpose of the statutory limitation period by causing surprise or prejudice to the respondent. Equitable tolling does not apply while an employee appeals a disciplinary action to the State Personnel Board, because that procedure does not put the other party on notice of a dispute that could result in an unfair practice charge and is not a negotiated procedure. Equitable tolling may, however, be tolled while an employee pursues a grievance procedure that is used to resolve the same dispute that is the subject of the unfair practice charge. In this case, even if equitable tolling applied, the charge would still have been dismissed as untimely.