Effective February 15, 2021, all filings must be made via the ePERB Portal unless you are an unrepresented individual. Unrepresented individuals may file through ePERB, U.S. Mail, a delivery service (e.g., UPS, FedEx, etc.), or in person at the appropriate PERB Regional Office. The charge must be filed within six (6) months of the occurrence of the conduct that you contend is an unfair practice.
Form: Unfair Practice Charge
The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) is the State agency responsible for enforcing the collective bargaining laws covering employees of public schools and community colleges (Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) Government Code section 3540 et seq.); State civil service (Ralph C. Dills Act (Dills Act) Government Code section 3512 et seq.); the University of California, California State University and Hastings College of Law (Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) Government Code section 3560 et seq.); cities, counties, and special districts (Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) Government Code section 3500 et seq.); trial court employees (Trial Court Employment Protection and Governance Act (Trial Court Act) Govt. Code section 71600 et seq., Trial Court Interpreter Employment and Labor Relations Act (Court Interpreter Act) Govt. Code section 71800 et seq.); supervisory employees of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Los Angeles County Transportation Authority Transit Employer-Employee Relations Act (TEERA) Public Utilities Code section 99560 et seq.), Judicial Council Employer-Employee Relations Act (JCEERA) (Gov. Code, § 3529.50 et seq.); Orange County Transportation Authority employees (Orange County Transit District Act (OCDTA) (Public Utilities Code section 40000 et seq.); Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) employees (BART Act)(Public Utilities Code section 28848 et seq.); Sacramento Regional Transit District employees (SacRT) (Pub. Util. Code, § 102398 et seq); Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District Act (Pub. Util. Code, § 98000 et seq.); Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (Pub. Util. Code, § 100000 et seq.) and child care providers who participate in a state-funded early care and education program (The Building a Better Early Care and Education System Act of 2019, known as the Childcare Provider Act (CCPA))(Educ. Code, § 8430 et seq.); as well as and the Public Employee Communication Chapter (PECC)(Gov. Code, § 3555 et seq.) and the Prohibition on Public Employers Deterring or Discouraging Union Membership (PEDD)(Gov. Code, § 3550 et seq.). PERB does not enforce laws that affect employees of private enterprise or the federal government, nor do the laws enforced by PERB protect against all types of unfairness that may occur at the workplace.
What is an Unfair Practice?
Following are examples of unlawful employer conduct:
- coercive questioning of employees regarding their union activity;
- threatening employees or discriminating against employees because they participated in union activities;
- promising benefits to employees if they refuse to participate in union activity.
Definitions of unlawful employer conduct are found for Dills, EERA and HEERA in Government Code sections 3519, 3543.5, and 3571, respectively, for MMBA in Government Code section 3509(b) and PERB Regulation 32603; for the Trial Court Act in Govt. Code section 71630 et seq., including section 71635.1; for the Court Interpreter Act in Govt. Code section 71800 et seq., including section 71822; for TEERA in Public Utilities Code section 99563.7; and for JCEERA in Government Code section 3524.71.
Following are examples of unlawful employee organization conduct:
- threatening employees if they refuse to join the union;
- disciplining members for filing an unfair practice charge against the union;
- failing to fairly represent an employee in dealings with an employer.
Definitions of unlawful employee organization conduct are found for Dills, EERA and HEERA in Government Code sections 3519.5, 3543.6 and 3571.1, respectively, for MMBA in Government Code section 3509(b) and PERB Regulation 32604; for the Trial Court Act in Govt. Code section 71630 et seq., including section 71635.1; for the Court Interpreter Act in Govt. Code section 71800 et seq., including section 71822 for TEERA in Public Utilities Code section 99563.8; and for JCEERA in Government Code section 3524.72
Filing the Unfair Practice Charge
Effective February 15, 2021, all filings must be made via the ePERB Portal unless you are an unrepresented individual. Unrepresented individuals may file through ePERB, U.S. Mail, a delivery service (e.g., UPS, FedEx, etc.), or in person at the appropriate PERB Regional Office. The charge must be filed within six (6) months of the occurrence of the conduct that you contend is an unfair practice. Unfair Practice Charge forms are available on this web site or by telephoning or visiting a PERB regional office.
Contact information for PERB’s Offices:
Sacramento Regional Office
1031 18th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811-4124
San Francisco Regional Office
1330 Broadway, Suite 601
Oakland, CA 94612-2514
Los Angeles Regional Office
425 W Broadway , Suite 400
Glendale, CA 91204
The charge must contain the following information:
1. the “charging party’s” name, address and telephone number;
2. the name, address and telephone number of the party you claim committed the unfair practice (the “respondent”);
3. the section(s) of the Government or Public Utilities Code you believe have been violated;
4. the section(s) of PERB’s regulation(s) and/or for MMBA, Trial Court Act or Court Interpreter Act, the local rule(s) alleged to have been violated;
5. a clear and concise statement (including dates, names, places, etc.) of the conduct which you assert constitutes an unfair practice.
If you have procedural questions you may contact a PERB Board Agent at any of the three regional offices. Beyond that, if you require legal assistance and advice, please contact your attorney, representative or the County Bar Association for attorney referral services.
If you wish to file an unfair practice charge, you must comply with the service requirements of PERB Regulation 32140. For the initial filing of a case, the filing party shall serve all parties pursuant to Section 32140, subdivision (a), and electronically file with PERB the initial filing and a proof of service. Unrepresented individuals exempt from using the e-PERB Portal may file the original charge with the original proof of service with the appropriate PERB office (PERB Regulation 32075). A copy of the completed unfair practice charge and proof of service form must be served on the party being charged (respondent). A proof of service form must be attached to each copy of the charge to prove that a copy of the charge has been served on the respondent. Proof of service forms are available on the web site and at each regional office.
1. If the respondent is a public school or community college employer (EERA), service of the Charge and Proof of Service must be on the superintendent or designated representative of the district or school board.
2. If the respondent is the Regents of the University of California, the Trustees of the California State University or the Directors of Hastings College of the Law (HEERA), service must be to the following, respectively:
Office of the General Counsel
Regents of the University of California
1111 Franklin Street, 8th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
Office of the General Counsel
California State University
401 Golden Shore, 4th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802-4210
Hastings College of the Law
200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-4978
3. If the respondent is the State of California (Dills Act), service must be on:
Department of Human Resources
1515 S Street, North Building, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95811-4124
4. If the respondent is a local public agency as defined by Government Code section 3501(c) and PERB Regulation 32016(a) (MMBA), service must be on the individual designated to receive service for the agency or the chief executive officer.
5. If the respondent is a trial court employer as defined in Govt. Code section 71601(k) (Trial Court Act) or 71801(k) (Court Interpreter Act), service must be on the individual designated to receive service or the executive officer.
6. If the respondent is a regional committee employer as defined in Govt. Code section 71801(h) and 71807 (Court Interpreter Act), service must be on the individual designated to receive service or the executive officer.
7. If the respondent is the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, service must be on a person authorized to act on behalf of the employer.
8. If the respondent is an employee organization, service must be on the individual designated to receive service, the president, or officer of the organization.
Review of the Charge
Once the unfair practice charge is properly filed, a Board agent will be assigned to review the charge and determine whether a complaint should be issued. He or she may contact you, the respondent and other individuals who may have information about the charge.
If the charge does not contain enough information, the Board agent will give you an opportunity to provide more information or to file an amended charge. If you fail to provide the necessary information, your charge will be dismissed. After all information has been received, your charge may still be dismissed if it fails to state a prima facie case (sufficient factual allegations to constitute the elements of specific violation(s)). The dismissal, containing a statement of the reason(s), will be mailed to you and to the respondent.
Appeal of a Dismissal
If your charge is dismissed, you may file a written appeal with the Board itself. The appeal and proof of service must be filed with the Board via the e-PERB Portal within 20 days after the charge was dismissed. Unrepresented individuals exempt from using the e-PERB Portal may file in person, by U.S. Mail, or by other delivery service the original appeal and proof of service in the headquarters office within 20 days after the charge was dismissed. A proof of service form must accompany each copy of a document served upon a party.
Issuance of a Complaint
If, after investigating your charge, the Board agent concludes that there are enough facts alleged that an unfair practice may have been committed, he or she will issue a Complaint. The case will then proceed to an informal settlement conference.
The informal conference is an effort to settle an unfair practice complaint by mutual agreement between the charging party and the respondent. An informal conference usually is conducted at a PERB regional office by a Board agent other than the one who investigated the charge. The Board agent assists the charging party and respondent in reaching a settlement agreeable to both parties. No records are made and neither party is forced to accept a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached a formal hearing is scheduled.
- Before the conference, think about the merits of your case and decide what results would satisfy you.
- Come with an open mind and be prepared to enter into a meaningful discussion.
- Remember: if a compromise is reached at the Informal Conference, the case will be closed and no further action will be required of the parties.
A formal hearing is conducted by an administrative law judge (ALJ) who has not previously participated in the case. A formal hearing is like a court trial. Formal records are kept, and the ALJ, after taking testimony under oath from all relevant witnesses, issues a proposed written decision based on the evidence and legal argument presented by both parties. The parties to a formal hearing have the right to be represented by legal counsel and may request PERB to issue subpoenas for witnesses and documents. If you require legal assistance and advice, please contact your legal representative or the nearest County Bar Association for attorney referral services. A proposed decision is binding on the parties unless it is appealed to the Board itself within 20 days.
- The charging party must present evidence that proves the allegations contained in the complaint.
- Plan your case well in advance of the hearing. Know the questions you or your representative will ask and in what order your witnesses will be called.
If you wish to appeal the decision made by the administrative law judge, you may appeal to the Public Employment Relations Board itself. To appeal, you must file with the Board a written statement of exceptions. Pursuant to PERB Regulation 32300, the statement of exceptions must be filed with the Board itself within 20 days of service of this proposed decision (PERB Reg. 32135, subd. (a); see also PERB Reg. 32130.) You must prepare a proof of service form and serve a copy of the statement of exceptions on the other party to the case. Unrepresented individuals exempt from using the e-PERB Portal may file in person, by U.S. Mail, or by other delivery service the original appeal and proof of service in the headquarters office (address below) within 20 days after the decision of the administrative law judge. A proof of service form must accompany each copy of a document served upon a party.
1031 18th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811-4124
The statement of exceptions must be a single, integrated document that may be in the form of a brief and may contain tables of contents and authorities, but may not exceed 14,000 words, including footnotes, but excluding the tables of contents and authorities. Requests to exceed the 14,000-word limit must establish good cause for exceeding the limit and be filed with the Board itself and served on all parties no later than five days before the statement of exceptions is due. PERB Regulation 32300, subdivision (a), is specific as to what the statement of exceptions must contain. The statement of exceptions shall: (1) clearly and concisely state why the proposed decision is in error, (2) cite to the relevant exhibit or transcript page in the case record to support factual arguments, and (3) cite to relevant legal authority to support legal arguments. Exceptions shall cite only to evidence in the record of the case and of which administrative notice may properly be taken. (PERB Reg. 32300, subd. (c).) Non-compliance with the requirements of PERB Regulation 32300 will result in the Board not considering such filing, absent good cause. (PERB Reg. 32300, subd. (d).)