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AB-1017 Collective bargaining agreements: arbitration: litigation. (2017-2018)

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Date Published: 07/05/2017 09:00 PM
AB1017:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 05, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 01, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1017


Introduced by Assembly Member Santiago

February 16, 2017


An act to amend Section 1128 of the Labor Code, relating to bargaining agreements.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1017, as amended, Santiago. Collective bargaining agreements: arbitration: litigation.
Existing law, with regard to disputes concerning collective bargaining agreements for private employment, requires a court to award attorney’s fees to a prevailing party in an action to compel arbitration of the disputes unless the other party has raised substantial and credible issues involving complex or significant questions of law or fact regarding whether or not the dispute is arbitrable. Existing law also creates, in this context, a right to attorney’s fees for a prevailing party in a court action to compel compliance with the decision or award of an arbitrator or grievance panel regarding the disputes, or for a prevailing appellee in the appeal of the decision of an arbitrator regarding the disputes, unless the other party or appellant, respectively, has raised substantial issues involving complex or significant questions of law.
This bill would apply these provisions to public employment. The bill would provide that, for the purposes of awarding attorney’s fees under these provisions, a party to a collective bargaining agreement means limit liability for attorney’s fees under these provisions to a labor organization or employer. The bill would prohibit the cost of attorney’s fees from being passed on to the employee. This bill would also provide that, in connection with an appeal of a decision of an arbitrator, or an action to compel compliance with a decision or award, as described above, in order to avoid an award of attorney’s fees, the appellant or other party must raise credible as well as substantial issues involving complex or significant questions of law.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1128 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

1128.
 (a) If a party to a collective bargaining agreement prevails in a court action to compel arbitration of disputes concerning the collective bargaining agreement, the court shall award attorney’s fees to the prevailing party unless the other party has raised substantial and credible issues involving complex or significant questions of law or fact regarding whether or not the dispute is arbitrable under the agreement.
If the dispute is later found to be not arbitrable under the collective bargaining agreement, any award made pursuant to this subdivision shall be vacated and those sums paid to satisfy the award shall be reimbursed to the payor.
(b) If a party to a collective bargaining agreement appeals the decision of an arbitrator regarding disputes concerning the collective bargaining agreement, the court shall award attorney’s fees to the prevailing appellee unless the appellant has raised substantial and credible issues involving complex or significant questions of law.
(c) If a party to a collective bargaining agreement prevails in a court action to compel compliance with the decision or award of an arbitrator or a grievance panel regarding disputes concerning the collective bargaining agreement, the court shall award attorney’s fees to the prevailing party unless the other party has raised substantial and credible issues involving complex or significant questions of law.
(d) This section shall apply to private and public employment.

(e)For purposes of awarding attorney’s fees under this section, a party to a collective bargaining agreement means a labor organization or an employer. The cost of attorney’s fees shall not be passed on to the employee.

(e) Only a labor organization or an employer shall be liable for attorney’s fees under this section.