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SB-550 Public school employment: meeting and negotiating: legal actions: settlement offer: attorney’s fees.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/09/2017 09:00 PM
SB550:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 09, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 05, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 550


Introduced by Senator Pan

February 16, 2017


An act to amend Section 3543.8 of the Government Code, relating to public school employment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 550, as amended, Pan. Public school employment: meeting and negotiating: legal actions: settlement offer: attorney’s fees.
Existing law gives public school employees the right to form, join, and participate in the activities of employee organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of representation on all matters of employer-employee relations. Existing law gives an employee organization standing to sue in an action or proceeding instituted on behalf of one or more of its members.
This bill would provide that, except as specified, if the employee organization prevails in an action in proving the employer failed to provide wages or benefits required by state law, the employer shall pay the employee organization’s reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses if notice was provided to the employer as specified. require an employer, if an employee organization makes an offer to settle a dispute alleging an employer’s failure to provide wages, benefits, or working conditions required by state law, and the employer does not accept the offer and fails to obtain a more favorable judgment or award, to pay the employee organization’s attorney’s fees and expenses incurred after the offer was made, subject to specified procedural requirements.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 3543.8 of the Government Code is amended to read:

3543.8.
 (a) Any employee organization shall have standing to sue in any action or proceeding heretofore or hereafter instituted by it as representative and on behalf of one or more of its members.

(b)(1)If the employee organization prevails in an action in proving the employer failed to provide wages or benefits required by state law, the employer shall pay the employee organization’s reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses if written notice of intent to seek fees was provided to the employer at least 30 days before the action was instituted.

(b) (1) At any time not less than 10 days before commencement of a hearing to resolve a dispute alleging that the employer failed to provide wages, benefits, or working conditions required by state law, an employee organization may serve an offer in writing upon the employer to settle the dispute for a specified amount or other consideration such as a change in employer policy. The written offer shall include a statement of the offer amount or other consideration, the terms and conditions by which that amount or other consideration shall be tendered to the employee, and a provision that allows the employer to indicate acceptance of the offer by signing a statement that the offer is accepted. An acceptance of the offer, whether made on the document containing the offer or on a separate document of acceptance, shall be in writing and shall be signed by counsel for the employer, or, if not represented by counsel, by the employer.
(2) If the offer is accepted, receipt of the specified amount or other consideration shall constitute a full satisfaction of the claim.
(3) If the offer is not accepted before the hearing or within 30 days after it is made, whichever occurs first, it shall be deemed withdrawn and cannot be given in evidence in the action.
(4) For purposes of this subdivision, a hearing shall be deemed to be actually commenced at the beginning of the oral argument or opening statement of the plaintiff or counsel, or, if there is no opening statement, at the time of the administering of the oath or affirmation to the first witness, or the introduction of any evidence.
(5) If an offer made by an employee organization is not accepted and the employer fails to obtain a more favorable judgment or award from the action or proceeding, the employer shall pay the reasonable post-offer attorney’s fees and expenses of the employee organization.

(2)Paragraph (1)

(6) This subdivision does not apply to unfair practice proceedings under this chapter.