CA legislature expands “paid release time” for employee representatives of Unions

A new amendment to the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (“MMBA”) significantly expands the right to paid release time for employee representatives of the Union. 

Before the amendment, the MMBA granted paid release time to a reasonable number of employee Union representatives for meet-and-confers and negotiations.  Assembly Bill 1181, which was signed into law on September 9, 2013, additionally grants paid release time to employee Union representatives for the following activities:

  1. Testifying before the Public Employment Relations Board (“PERB”) in proceedings relating to a charge filed by or against the Union;
  2. Appearing as a representative of the Union before PERB;
  3. Testifying before a personnel or merit commission; and
  4. Appearing as a representative of the Union before a personnel or merit commission.

AB 1181 limits paid release time for participating in the above-listed activities to a “reasonable number” of employee representatives of the Union.  AB1181 does not eliminate the right to paid release time for participating in meet-and-confers or negotiations.

The Union must give the employer reasonable notice that it is requesting paid release time for employee representatives of the Union.

Although the MMBA has expanded the right to paid release time, Unions can still bargain for paid release time for activities not covered by the MMBA.  In fact, many MOUs have release time provisions.

By Sean Graham | September 17, 2013

Legal Developments