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Public Sector Labor Relations: California

XpertHR has archived this resource in order to focus on our core mission of serving the private sector with practical employment law updates and information.

Author: Susan Borowski, Reliable Writing Services


  • Public sector labor relations are governed by four statutes, with local government employees being covered by the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act, which falls under the purview of the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB). See Public Sector Employees.
  • If the public employer and employee group cannot come to agreement, and voluntary mediation does not result in a settlement, the labor organization can request that a mandatory fact-finding panel review the dispute and make recommendations. See Alternative Dispute Resolution.
  • Police and fire employees must submit to interest arbitration to resolve disputes that are at an impasse. See Interest Arbitration for Police and Fire Employees.
  • Public employees generally have the right to strike, with some exceptions. See Right to Strike.
  • California public employers are subject to a card check law, by which unions must be recognized if a majority of employees sign authorization cards, union membership cards, or a petition requesting union representation. See Card Check Law.