In California, the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act governs labor management relations in government employment fields and serves to promote full communication between public agencies and their employees.

What Does the Act Require?

The act requires that government employers meet and confer in good-faith with labor unions and representatives of recognized employee organizations regarding:

  • Wages
  • Hours
  • Other terms and conditions of employment.

When Are Government Employers Required to Meet with Labor Unions?

Upon request by either party, both groups must meet for as long as reasonable to freely exchange ideas.

What Happens If an Agreement Is Reached?

If an agreement is met, both parties shall prepare a Memorandum of Agreement detailing the terms of their resolution. The memorandum should then be submitted to the governing bodies of both parties for final binding approval.

What Happens If an Agreement Cannot be Reached?

If an agreement cannot be reached, parties may agree to undergo mediation and split the cost. In some instances a public agency may be required to submit to a mandatory arbitration to resolve a dispute. However, generally parties are not required to reach a consensus and negotiations may end without agreement.

Are There Protections for Employees Involved in Negotiations?

Public agencies must allow employees a reasonable amount of paid time-off from work to participate in negotiations. Additionally, public agencies may not discriminate or retaliate against employees for exercising their rights under the act.

What If Either Party Refuses to Meet or Violates the Act?

Any complaints regarding alleged violations of the act may be filed with the Public Employment Relations Board. The board will determine whether an unfair labor practice has occurred and determine the appropriate remedy.

Contacting an Attorney

If you have an employment dispute, you should contact an employment attorney to help resolve your issue.