TOPIC: Stakeholder Discussion on Case Processing Efficiency Initiative Recommendations 4/4a and 8/8a

DATE and TIME: February 6, 2020 | 10:30 a.m. (or at the conclusion of the Board meeting) until 12:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Public Employment Relations Board, 1031 18th Street, First Floor, Room 103, Sacramento CA

PERB staff will facilitate a discussion on Case Processing Efficiency Initiative Recommendations priorities 4/4a related to the expedited case process and 8/8a related to pro per information and training. The purpose of the discussion is to solicit feedback regarding the two priorities to guide future implementation efforts.

Below is the rationale for the priorities as included in the Recommendations.

Priority 4: Revise expedited decisions process / Priority 4a: Setup an expedited process for charges based on the level of complexity of the charge.

Rationale: When granted, a request to expedite moves the case atop the queue of cases awaiting investigation or adjudication. The reasons for the request must be sufficiently compelling to justify moving the case to the head of the line. Depending on the criteria for expediting a case, the benefits may include: (1) an improved likelihood of settlement; (2) a more suitable remedy—particularly in charges involving active collective bargaining or unilateral changes; (3) averting a larger labor dispute that could significantly consume additional PERB resources; or (4) serve as a deterrent for misconduct when a party could be compelled to
answer for its actions immediately.

Priority 8: Provide additional training and information to guide pro per charging parties. / Priority 8a:  Improve PERB website to clearly guide pro pers – create embedded training videos on the website to assist pro pers.

Rationale: By far, pro per cases require the highest time commitment from Regional Attorneys and Administrative Law Judges. Generally, pro per litigants are unfamiliar with PERB’s regulations and legal processes. As a result, they often have missteps that delay the adjudication of their cases. For example, unfair practice charges filed by pro per litigants often leave out important facts, which results in multiple phone calls, warning letters and amendments. At the other extreme, pro pers often submit far more information or documents than necessary, requiring the Regional Attorney or Administrative Law Judge to pore over numerous documents to find those relevant to the case.

The delays and unnecessary time spent addressing the issues often associated with pro per litigants can be reduced significantly by providing information and resources that educate and guide them through PERB’s processes. This will allow Regional Attorneys and Administrative Law Judges to use their time more efficiently to reduce the various backlogs and the extraordinarily long time it takes to move cases through each division.