AB 1484 Adopts Enhanced Representational Rights for Temporary Employees

CATEGORY: Blog Posts, Public Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Public Education, Public Employers
AUTHOR: Kelly Tuffo
PUBLICATION: California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog
DATE: Nov 29, 2023

Assembly Bill 1484, which enhances the representational rights of temporary employees of California local government agencies, was recently signed into law by Governor Newsom. While the Meyers Milias Brown Act (MMBA) (Government Code section 3500 et seq.) currently gives temporary employees of public sector agencies the right to form, join, and be represented by an employee organization, AB 1484 enhances those rights and imposes new duties on local agencies. The intent of the legislation is to ensure that temporary employees are protected by state laws, and to ensure that the increasing use of temporary employees does not undermine public employee labor relations.

AB 1484 takes effect January 1, 2024 and adds Government Code section 3507.7 to the MMBA.  It obligates local government agencies to do the following with respect to temporary employees who have been hired to perform the same or similar type of work that is performed by permanent employees who are represented by a recognized employee organization:

1. Upon request of a recognized employee organization, add temporary employees to the same bargaining unit as permanent employees who perform the same or similar type of work.

2. Once temporary employees are added to a bargaining unit in response to a labor organization’s request, promptly participate in bargaining with the labor organization over wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment for temporary employees.

3. The employer must provide temporary employees, upon hire, with a copy of their job description, wage rates, eligibility for benefits, anticipated length of employment, and procedures to apply for open, permanent positions.  This information must also be provided to the recognized employee organization within five days of hire.  Although not explicitly clear, the law appears to require the information to be provided to the recognized employee organization regardless of whether the employee organization has requested that temporary employees be added to a bargaining unit.

4. Along with the list of new employee information provided to an employee organization under Government Code section 3558, the employer must also provide the anticipated end date of employment for each temporary employee, or actual end date if the temporary employee has been released from service since the last list was provided.  This appears to require that employers provide the personal contact information of temporary employees to the recognized employee organization regardless of whether the employee organization has requested that temporary employees be added to a bargaining unit.  Employers are reminded that Government Code section 3558 permits employers to meet and confer over procedures to give employees notice and the opportunity to opt out of having their home addresses, personal telephone numbers, and personal email addresses provided to a labor organization, consistent with County of Los Angeles v. Los Angeles County Employee Relations Com. (2013) 56 Cal.4th 905.

Agencies are not required to make changes to existing bargaining units unless a labor organization requests that temporary employees be added. Some labor organizations may choose not to add temporary employees to existing units based on the preferences of existing members and current temporary employees.

If temporary employees are added to a bargaining unit pursuant to such a request, they are not automatically entitled to the same terms and conditions of employment as their permanent employee counterparts. Rather, the parties are required to bargain over terms and conditions for temporary employees. The bill specifically notes that the issue of whether a temporary employee should receive seniority or credit for their time in temporary employment upon obtaining permanent employment is a matter within the scope of representation.

Initially, an agreement over temporary employee terms can be an addendum to the existing memorandum of understanding. Thereafter, if the labor organization so requests, the terms and conditions of employment for permanent and temporary employees must be included in the same memorandum of understanding.

“Temporary employee” per AB 1484 means a temporary employee, casual employee, seasonal employee, periodic employee, extra-help employee, relief employee, limited-term employee, per diem employee, and any other public employee who has not been hired for a permanent position.  This can also include a retired annuitant who meets the definition of temporary employee.  It does not include an employee employed by a temporary services employer as defined in Section 201.3 of the Labor Code.[1]  The bill does not apply to temporary employees hired pursuant to a written agreement between a public employer and a labor organization that primarily represents employees in the building and construction trades.  The bill does not apply to independent contractors.

The legislation specifies that it does not supersede or provide any exemption to the restrictions or requirements related to individuals working after retirement from a public retirement system.

Complaints alleging violations of the new Government Code section 3507.7 shall be processed as unfair practice charges at the Public Employment Relations Board pursuant to Government Code Section 3509.

There will undoubtedly be numerous questions about AB 1484 that are not clearly answered by the bill.   You should prepare for the implementation of AB 1484.  Trusted legal counsel can help you with your questions as well as strategize with you over the unique issues you will face in implementing AB 1484 at your agency.

[1] Labor Code section 201.3 defines a temporary services employer as “an employing unit that contracts with clients or customers to supply workers to perform services for the clients or customers and that performs all of the following functions:

(A) Negotiates with clients and customers for matters such as the time and place where the services are to be provided, the type of work, the working conditions, and the quality and price of the services.

(B) Determines assignments or reassignments of workers, even if workers retain the right to refuse specific assignments.

(C) Retains the authority to assign or reassign a worker to another client or customer when the worker is determined unacceptable by a specific client or customer.

(D) Assigns or reassigns workers to perform services for clients or customers.

(E) Sets the rate of pay of workers, whether or not through negotiation.

(F) Pays workers from its own account or accounts.

(G) Retains the right to hire and terminate workers.

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