Attorney's Fees Available to Public School Employee Unions Who Obtain Favorable Judgments For Employees
Friday, Nov. 10, 2017
By Langenkamp, Curtis, Price, Lindstrom & Chevedden, LLP
California Senate Bill 550 creates new rights for public school employee unions when pursuing employment disputes with public school employers. Section 3543.8 of the Government Code now authorizes employee organizations to obtain post-offer attorneys fees when the following actions occur:
(1) The employee organization offers to settle a dispute alleging an employer's failure to provide wages, benefits, or working conditions, and
(2) The employee organization obtains a more favorable judgment then the offer rejected by the employer.
This law does not apply to unfair practice or arbitration proceedings. If an adjudicator finds that an employer has raised substantial and credible issues involving complex or significant questions of law or fact relative to the employee's claim or claims, then no attorneys fees are available to the employee organization under this section. The purpose of this new law is to encourage settlement of disputes related to wages, benefits and working conditions and reduce unnecessary litigation. See the text of Senate Bill 550.