California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 561


Introduced by Assembly Member Campos

February 24, 2015


An act to amend Section 1149 of, and to add Sections 1149.3 and 1164.6 to, the Labor Code, relating to agricultural labor relations.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 561, as introduced, Campos. Agricultural labor relations.

(1) The Alatorre-Zenovich-Dunlap-Berman Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975 regulates employer-employee relations in agriculture. The act, among other things, prohibits agricultural employers and employees from engaging in unfair labor practices, as defined, and empowers the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to prevent any person from engaging in those practices. The act provides for a general counsel of the board, and grants the general counsel final authority with respect to the investigation of charges and issuance and prosecution of complaints regarding unfair labor practices.

This bill would grant the general counsel primary authority with respect to the calculation and litigation of makewhole awards, backpay calculations, and other monetary awards in compliance proceedings before the board, as specified. The bill would require the board and general counsel, within one year of an order of the board finding liability for a makewhole award, backpay calculation, or other monetary award, to process any compliance decision concerning the award to final board order.

(2) The act grants employees the right to engage in collective bargaining with respect to wages, terms of employment, and other employment conditions, and authorizes employees to elect exclusive bargaining representatives for these purposes. The act, if certain conditions are met, requires the employer and exclusive bargaining representative to engage in mandatory mediation and conciliation of their issues, and authorizes both parties to appeal orders of the board based on this mandatory mediation and conciliation, as specified.

This bill would require an employer who appeals or petitions for a writ of review of an order of the board to post a bond in the amount of the entire economic value of the order, as specified.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 1149 of the Labor Code is amended to
2read:

3

1149.  

There shall be a general counsel of the board who shall
4be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by a
5majority of the Senate, for a term of four years. The general counsel
6shall have the power to appointbegin delete suchend deletebegin insert thoseend insert attorneys, administrative
7assistants, and other employees as necessary for the proper exercise
8of hisbegin insert or herend insert duties. The general counsel of the board shall exercise
9general supervision over all attorneys employed by the board (other
10than administrative law officers and legal assistants to board
11 members), and over the officers and employees in the regional
12offices.begin delete Heend deletebegin insert The general counselend insert shall have final authority, on behalf
13of the board, with respect to the investigation of charges and
14issuance of complaints under Chapter 6 (commencing with Section
151160) of this part, and with respect to the prosecution ofbegin delete suchend deletebegin insert thoseend insert
16 complaints before the board.begin delete Heend deletebegin insert The general counsel shall have
17primary authority with respect to the calculation and litigation of
18makewhole awards, backpay calculations, and other monetary
19awards to employees in compliance proceedings before the board,
20and may be relieved of this primary authority upon application by
21a charging party and a finding by the board that the general
22counsel has been negligent in his or her duties or has unreasonably
23delayed in processing or litigating the makewhole award, backpay
24calculation, or other monetary award. The general counselend insert
shall
25havebegin delete suchend deletebegin insert thoseend insert other duties as the board may prescribe or as may
26be provided by law. All employees appointed by the general
27counsel shall perform their duties in an objective and impartial
P3    1manner without prejudice toward any party subject to the
2jurisdiction of the board. In case of a vacancy in the office of the
3general counsel, the Governor is authorized to designate the officer
4or employee who shall act as general counsel during such vacancy,
5but no person or persons so designated shall so act either (1) for
6more than 40 days when the Legislature is in session unless a
7nomination to fillbegin delete suchend deletebegin insert thatend insert vacancybegin delete shall haveend deletebegin insert hasend insert been submitted
8to the Senate, or (2) after the adjournment sine die of the session
9of the Senate in whichbegin delete suchend deletebegin insert theend insert nomination was submitted.

10

SEC. 2.  

Section 1149.3 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

11

1149.3.  

Within one year of an order of the board finding
12liability for a makewhole award, backpay calculation, or other
13monetary award to employees, the board and general counsel shall
14process any compliance decision concerning the award to final
15board order.

16

SEC. 3.  

Section 1164.6 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

17

1164.6.  

An employer who petitions for a writ of review in the
18court of appeal or the California Supreme Court or otherwise
19appeals or seeks to overturn or stay an order of the board shall post
20a bond, in the amount of the entire economic value of the order as
21determined by the board, to ensure that employees receive the
22benefits of the order if the employer does not prevail. The board
23shall reasonably determine the entire economic value of the order
24based on submissions from the parties.



O

    99