Decision 2799M – County of Santa Clara


Decision Date: December 20, 2021

Decision Type: PERB Decision

Description: The complaint alleged that Santa Clara County violated the MMBA by enacting an ordinance which regulates the County’s surveillance technology use before completing negotiations with the Santa Clara County District Attorney Investigators Association over the County Board of Supervisors’ decision to adopt the ordinance and/or the decision’s effects on terms and conditions of employment. The ALJ found that the County had no obligation to bargain over its decision to adopt the ordinance, but the ALJ upheld the complaint’s effects bargaining claim. The Association filed exceptions, primarily contending that the County had a duty to bargain over the ordinance’s definition of the term “surveillance technology” and over its provision establishing criminal misdemeanor liability for misusing County surveillance technology.

Disposition: The Board affirmed the ALJ’s conclusion that the County was not required to engage in decision bargaining but did have a duty to engage in effects bargaining. While the ALJ found that the Association had the right to bargain over the ordinance’s effects on employee workload and safety, the Board concluded that the Association also had the right to meet and confer over the consequences to Association-represented employees found to have misused County surveillance technology. The Board directed the County to: (1) meet and confer, upon request, over all three of the ordinance’s effects; (2) make whole any employees harmed by the ordinance to date; and (3) cease and desist from enforcing the ordinance against Association-represented employees until one of the following conditions is satisfied: the parties reach an overall agreement on each of the specified effects; the parties conclude their effects negotiations in a bona fide impasse; or the Association fails to pursue effects negotiations in good faith.

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Perc Vol: 46
Perc Index: 94

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