Union asks the California Supreme Court to Compel the Production of Contact Information for Represented Employees

The California Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in a case that will affect the ability of a Union to communicate with the workers it represents. In County of Los Angeles v. Los Angeles County Employee Relations Committee (ERCOM), the Court has been asked to determine if public employers are required to provide Unions with contact information for all employees represented by the Union. The Employee Relations Committee of Los Angeles County said yes, The California Court of Appeal disagreed, ruling against decades of precedent that required employers to provide basic contact information to the employee’s Union; the Court inappropriately elevated the right to privacy. The Union, SEIU Local 721, appealed the case to the California Supreme Court.

Unions need contact information for represented employees in order to communicate with them for representational purposes (e.g. to provide bargaining updates, information about grievances that may affect them, union elections, job promotional opportunities, eligibility for and availability of benefits, etc.). Employees need information from their Union that will affect their jobs. PERB has required the production of this contact information for twenty years, and the NLRB has compelled it for fifty years. However, the California Court of Appeal chose to disregard this precedent, and established a cumbersome opt-out procedure for the production of contact information to a union representing public sector employees.

The Union has asked the California Supreme Court to overturn that decision in favor of established precedent. A decision will be issued by approximately June 5th. We will report on it when it is issued.

By Jake White

Legal Developments