BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 2835 (Cooper) - Public employees:  orientation and  
          informational programs:  recognized employee organizations
          
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          |Version: June 21, 2016          |Policy Vote: P.E. & R. 3 - 2    |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: Yes                    |
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          |Hearing Date: August 1, 2016    |Consultant: Robert Ingenito     |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.


          


          Bill  
          Summary: AB 2835 would (1) require all public employers to  
          provide a specified employee orientation to all newly hired  
          public employees, (2) authorize the recognized employee  
          organization to participate in the employee orientation for  
          represented employees, and (3) provide that orientations for  
          current employees are subject to bargaining.


          Fiscal  
          Impact: This bill would result in unknown General and special  
          fund costs, at a minimum in the low millions of dollars  
          annually, for state departments to modify their administration  
          functions to implement the provisions of the bill.


          Proposed Law:  







          AB 2835 (Cooper)                                       Page 1 of  
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          This bill would do all of the following:
                 Require 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: (1) the  
               personnel and civil service policies of the public  
               employer, including sexual harassment, whistleblower,  
               violence prevention, and safety plans, (2) any applicable  
               civil service rules, (3) any ethics or conflict-of-interest  
               rules to which the public employee is subject, as  
               applicable, and (4) any employer-sponsored benefits  
               programs for which the public employee is eligible.


                 Provide that a public employee orientation shall meet  
               the following minimum requirements:


                  o         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.


                  o         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: (1) information  
                    about the memorandum of understanding, including the  
                    term of the agreement, eligibility to vote on its  
                    ratification, and how to access the contract, (2) any  
                    union benefit for which members may be eligible, and  
                    (3) contact information for the exclusive  
                    representative.












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               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.


               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.


                 Require 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  








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               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.


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


                 Clarify 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.


                 Clarify 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.









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               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.


                 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  
               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.


                 Define 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.








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


                 State 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.




          



          Staff  
          Comments: With respect to new employee orientation, the  
          complexity of implementing the bill would stem from the fact  
          that state departments do not conduct orientations in a uniform  
          manner. Some larger departments likely have a formal new  
          employee orientation program, while some smaller departments may  
          just sit new employees down with the manager or HR staff and  
          review information at the time of hire. For state departments  
          that already conduct new employee orientations the requirements  
          in this bill may go beyond what the department currently covers.  
           For example, some departments may use computer-based training  
          to cover their policies dealing with ethics, sexual harassment,  
          and data security. It would seem that the bill's requirements  
          could be hard for state departments to coordinate each and every  
          time there are new employees, and would likely require  
          additional personnel and/or labor relations staff. Because some  
          state departments hire as many as 1,000 people per year, this  
          would bill create the possibility of ongoing and continuous  
          orientation-mode, which would be costly and administratively  
          difficult based on the requirements outlined in the bill. 
          An additional cost driver for many state (and local) agencies  
          would be instances where they have multiple locations. State  








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          department with such field offices would include CalTrans, the  
          Franchise Tax Board, the Board of Equalization, the Department  
          of General Services and the Department of Toxic Substances  
          Control. It would be significantly more cost effective to  
          provide trainings at a central location, such as headquarters.  
          Training staff, not all of which are likely to be needed for the  
          entire duration of the training, would be able to return to  
          work, rather than losing time in travel. Additionally the  
          department may be required to pay staff at the employee  
          orientation overtime, travel reimbursements, and potentially  
          lodging in order to meet the requirement that the new employee  
          orientation occur at the employees' actual worksite.


          All told, the state cost resulting from the bill would be  
          unknown, but at a minimum would exceed the low millions of  
          dollars annually. The cost to local government agencies, which  
          are larger in number but would experience the same set of  
          implementation challenges, would be significantly higher.













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