BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON
          PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT AND RETIREMENT
                               Dr. Richard Pan, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:            AB 2835         Hearing Date:     6/27/16
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          |Author:    |Cooper                                               |
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          |Version:   |6/21/16    As amended                                |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|Glenn Miles                                          |
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          Subject:  Public employees:  new employee orientation

            SOURCE:   California Labor Federation
                    California School Employees Association
                    Services Employees International Union

            ASSEMBLY VOTES:
          
          Not Applicable with June 21, 2016, amendments.

          DIGEST:    This bill requires all public employers to provide a  
          specified employee orientation to all newly hired public  
          employees, authorizes the recognized employee organization to  
          participate in the employee orientation for represented  
          employees, and provides that orientations for current employees  
          are subject to bargaining.

          ANALYSIS:
          
          Existing law:
          
          1)Establishes several statutory frameworks which provide for  
            employer-employee relations by providing a reasonable method  
            of resolving disputes regarding wages, hours, and other terms  
            and conditions of employment between public employers and  
            recognized public employee organizations or their exclusive  
            representatives.  These include the following:

             a)   The State Employee-Employer Relations Act (the Ralph C.  







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               Dills Act), which governs state government  
               employer-employee relations

             b)   The Meyers-Milias-Brown Act, which governs labor  
               relations between local public agencies and local public  
               employees.

             c)   The Education Employment Relations Act for  
               employer-employee relations within the public school  
               systems (K-12 and community colleges).

             d)   The Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act  
               providing for employer-employee relations at the University  
               of California, the California State University System, and  
               Hastings College of the Law.

             e)   Other parallel statutory frameworks that govern labor  
               relations among trial court employees, train court  
               interpreters, and public transit employees and their  
               respective public employers.

          1)Uses various terms to identify the official unions  
            representing particular groups of employees including  
            "recognized employee organization" and "exclusive  
            representative."

          2)Delegates jurisdiction over the public employer-employee  
            relationship to the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB)  
            and charges PERB with resolving disputes and enforcing the  
            statutory duties and rights of local public agency employers  
            and employee organizations but provides the City and County of  
            Los Angeles a local alternative to PERB oversight.

          This bill:

          1)Requires public employers to provide all newly hired public  
            employees, as defined, a public employee orientation within  
            two months of the time of hiring that shall include, but is  
            not limited to, all of the following:

             a)   The personnel and civil service policies of the public  
               employer, including sexual harassment, whistleblower,  
               violence prevention, and safety plans.

             b)   Any applicable civil service rules.








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             c)   Any ethics or conflict-of-interest rules to which the  
               public employee is subject, as applicable.

             d)   Any employer-sponsored benefits programs for which the  
               public employee is eligible.

          1)Provides that a public employee orientation shall meet the  
            following minimum requirements:

             a)   Take place during the regular workday and at the  
               worksite, unless the public employer and recognized  
               employee organization or exclusive representative have  
               agreed otherwise. The scheduling of orientations shall be  
               agreed upon with the recognized employee organization or  
               exclusive representative.  All newly hired public employees  
               shall attend in person.

             b)   If employees are represented by an employee organization  
               or exclusive representative, permit those representatives  
               to make a presentation of 30 minutes that shall begin  
               within one hour of the start of the employer's orientation  
               that shall include, but is not limited to, all of the  
               following:

                 i)       Information about the memorandum of  
                   understanding, including the term of the agreement,  
                   eligibility to vote on its ratification, and how to  
                   access the contract.
                 ii)      Any union benefit for which members may be  
                   eligible.
                 iii)     Contact information for the exclusive  
                   representative.

          If no representative from the employee organization or exclusive  
          representative is present during the designated start time of  
          the union portion of the orientation, there is no requirement  
          that they be afforded additional time.

          If employees in different bargaining units are provided a  
          combined orientation, employees in each bargaining unit shall be  
          provided a separate space in which the union representing each  
          bargaining unit shall be permitted to address its bargaining  
          unit members during the time allotted for the union's  
          presentation.








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          In addition to other representatives, each employee organization  
          or exclusive representative may designate one employee  
          representative who may attend the orientation on paid time.

          The content of the union's presentation shall be determined  
          solely by the employee organization or exclusive representative  
          and shall not be subject to negotiation.

          The presentation shall not include advocacy for or against a  
          candidate for political office or ballot measure.

          Prior to implementing the employee orientation requirements, the  
          public employer shall provide at least the level of access to,  
          and the opportunity to make presentations at, orientations that  
          the public employer allowed the employee organization or  
          exclusive representative as of June 1, 2016, and nothing in the  
          bill shall be construed as infringing upon or limiting that  
          access.

          1)Requires the public employer to provide to the employee  
            organization or exclusive representative, the job title,  
            department, work location, phone number, and home address of  
            any newly hired employee within seven days of the date of hire  
            and also notice of a scheduled orientation not less than 10  
            days prior to the orientation, unless earlier notice is  
            required by an agreement with the employee organization or  
            exclusive representative.

            The employee information to be provided by the employer must  
            be provided to the employee organization or exclusive  
            representative regardless of whether the newly hired employee  
            was previously employed by the public employer. The  
            information shall be provided in a manner consistent with  
            existing law restricting disclosure of information regarding  
            public employees and participants in the address  
            confidentiality program which protects personal information of  
            specified individuals such as law enforcement and victims of  
            domestic abuse.

          2)Does not prohibit a public employer and employee organization  
            or exclusive representative from negotiating an agreement  
            providing for orientation sessions that vary from the bill's  
            default requirements.  However, if the public employer and the  
            employee organization or exclusive representative do not reach  








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            mutual agreement regarding the orientation sessions, all of  
            the requirements of this bill shall apply.

          3)Clarifies that a public employer does not unlawfully support  
            or favor an employee organization or encourage employees to  
            join any organization in preference to another as prohibited  
            by existing law, as specified, by permitting an employee  
            organization or exclusive representative the opportunity to  
            present at employee orientations and informational programs as  
            required by this bill or consistent with a negotiated  
            agreement.

          4)Clarifies that existing law governing public employer-employee  
            relations, as specified, includes an obligation to meet and  
            confer regarding informational programs for current state  
            employees that are similar to the state employee orientations  
            required by the bill.

            The establishment, scheduling, and administration of these  
            programs shall be negotiated by the employer and the employee  
            organization or exclusive representative pursuant to the  
            applicable law governing the public employment relationship at  
            issue in the same manner as other matters within the scope of  
            representation.

            The content of any union presentation included as part of the  
            informational program shall be determined solely by the  
            employee organization or exclusive representative and shall  
            not be subject to negotiation.

            The failure to reach agreement on these employee informational  
            programs shall be subject to the mediation provisions of the  
            chapter governing the public employment relationship at issue,  
            in the same manner as other matters within the scope of  
            representation.

          5)Notwithstanding provisions of the California Public Records  
            Act exempting specified records from disclosure, requires the  
            public employer to provide the employee organization or  
            exclusive representative with a list containing the name, job  
            title, department, work location, phone number, and home  
            address of all employees in the bargaining unit at least every  
            90 days, unless more frequent or more detailed lists are  
            required by an agreement with the union.  The information  
            shall be provided in a manner consistent with existing law  








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            restricting disclosure of information regarding public  
            employees and participants in the address confidentiality  
            program which protects personal information of specified  
            individuals such as law enforcement and victims of domestic  
            abuse.

          6)Defines public employers that are subject to this bill's  
            provisions and defines "newly hired public employee" to mean  
            any employee, whether permanent, temporary, full time, or part  
            time, hired by a public employer, who is still employed as of  
            the date of the new hire orientation.

          7)Requires PERB to have jurisdiction over violations of the  
            requirements of this bill and provides that PERB's powers and  
            duties apply, as specified.

          8)States that this bill will not result in a local mandate, as  
            specified, but that if the Commission on State Mandates  
            determines that this act contains mandated costs,  
            reimbursements to local agencies and school districts for  
            those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with  
            Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government  
            Code.





          Background

          According to the author,

               Traditionally, public sector jobs have had little turnover,  
               but that is about to change. Governor Brown's January 2016  
               budget summary states:  "With more than 40 percent of the  
               state workforce entering retirement by 2018, more work is  
               needed to develop and support the next generation of  
               employees."

               As California faces this coming influx of new public  
               servants, there is no uniform standard for public employers  
               to provide an orientation to new employees.  Many local  
               agencies and districts provide orientations, but others  
               have no orientation at all.









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               This bill would address that shortcoming in public sector  
               personnel practices.  It would set basic, minimum standards  
               for local agencies and unions to help educate new workers.   
               It would also allow for local flexibility.

               This bill is good policy for employees, local government,  
               schools, and the public.  Orientations help new employees  
               to fully understand their responsibilities and the laws  
               that govern their work.  Orientations also educate  
               employees about their employment rights and benefits and  
               other services available to them.

               Together these provisions will help build a more educated  
               and effective workforce, will limit liability to public  
               agencies, and will provide better service to the taxpayers,  
               state, students and communities served.

          FISCAL EFFECT:                 Appropriation:  No    Fiscal  
          Com.:             Yes          Local:          No


          No fiscal analysis has been provided.

          SUPPORT:

            California Labor Federation (co-source)
          California School Employees Association (co-source)
          Services Employees International Union (co-source)
          California Professional Firefighters
          California Teachers Association



          OPPOSITION:

          None received

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:    According to the author, this bill  
          "Creates a uniform statewide standard regarding public employee  
          orientation; ensures an effective use of taxpayer funding by  
          confirming employees have balanced and accurate information  
          regarding their rights and benefits; creates a more educated and  
          effective workforce to respond to serve the public; and ensures  
          all new teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public  
          employees understand their rights, benefits, obligations and  








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          duties."

          According to the sponsors, California faces an influx of new  
          public servants with more than 40 percent of the state workforce  
          entering retirement by 2018.  "There is no uniform standard for  
          public employers to provide an orientation to new employees.   
          Many local agencies and districts provide orientations, but  
          others have no orientation at all."  AB 2835 ensures "that all  
          future public employees participate in a new hire orientation  
          about key policies such as workplace safety, sexual harassment,  
          and violence prevention.  It would also give workers the  
          opportunity to hear from their union about their contractual  
          rights and benefits."