Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court declined to hear a December 2018 decision by the Public Employment Relations Board in favor of the Antelope Valley College Federation of Classified Employees (“Federation”). In February 2014, the Federation filed an unfair practice charge against the Antelope Valley Community College District (“District”) after the District unilaterally modified the employees work schedule. The modified schedule extended hours from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Fridays. The District’s stated reason for the change was to provide students greater access to support services. Prior to the change, faculty office hours had fluctuated by department and season. Typically, full-time classified employees worked eight hours each day Monday-Friday. If they worked more than eight hours in a single day, they would be eligible for overtime. The Federation alleged in its complaint that the District violated the Educational Employment Relations Act in altering the hours of operation without notice or opportunity to bargain, unilaterally affecting classified employees’ hours of work.
Federation President Pamela Ford polled unit members about the proposed changes and a majority voted against the change. The changes impacted employees in a number of ways, including raising concerns about childcare and medical appointments. In August 2016, a PERB Administrative Law Judge issued a proposed decision that only applied to a few Federation unit members. The Federation subsequently appealed to the Board, asking for a full review. The Board issued its decision on December 28, 2018, reversing the Administrative Law Judge’s proposed decision, and ruling in favor of the entire bargaining unit.
The District filed a Writ of Extraordinary Relief with the California Court of Appeals. The Court denied the District’s position. Following this, the District filed a petition for review with the California Supreme Court however, the petition for review was denied.
As a result the PERB ruling stands and the District will be required to pay overtime plus 7% interest per year for all affected employees, or alternatively provide compensatory time off. Additionally, the decision calls for the District to cease and desist from unilaterally altering workdays and requires the District to furnish a list of the employees affected by the schedule changes made in February 2014.