State Legislation Requires Public Unions to Have Access to New Public Employees
by David G. Ritchie on October 23, 2017
If public employers have not already done so, all should be prepared to engage with exclusive representative organizations over employee orientation and providing employee personal contact information to those exclusive representatives in the immediate future.
Assembly Bill 119 is in effect now, and provided recognized employee exclusive representative organizations access to employees during employee orientation and also requires that employers provide employee organizations with personal contact information for bargaining unit employees on a regular basis.
- Public Employers are required to provide 10 days’ notice to an exclusive representative after hiring and before employee orientation is to take place;
- The Exclusive Representative may participate in employee orientation;
- Employers and the recognized representatives are to negotiate upon request over the time and manner of that participation.
It seems apparent that the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, 1365 S.Ct 1083, which was poised to result in an overruling of Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977) 431 U.S. 209, and consequent elimination of “agency shop” provisions, led to the passage of AB 119 as well as some other later legislative term bills. Now that the Supreme Court with its full complement of Justices has taken up a successor case in Janus v. AFSCME, the issue of whether Abood should be overruled and public-sector “agency shop” arrangements are invalid under the First Amendment is pending and it is expected that Abood will indeed be overturned.
In the event a public employer and employee organization are both unable to agree on how the union might participate in orientations, either party may demand that the issue be resolved through mandatory, binding interest arbitration. Further, any decision from that arbitration must allow reasonable access to employee orientations.