Chapter 6.5. Contract Dispute Resolution of California Labor Code >> Division 2. >> Part 3.5. >> Chapter 6.5.
(a) An agricultural employer or a labor organization
certified as the exclusive bargaining agent of a bargaining unit of
agricultural employees may file with the board, at any time following
(1) 90 days after a renewed demand to bargain by an agricultural
employer or a labor organization certified prior to January 1, 2003,
which meets the conditions specified in Section 1164.11, (2) 90 days
after an initial request to bargain by an agricultural employer or a
labor organization certified after January 1, 2003, (3) 60 days after
the board has certified the labor organization pursuant to
subdivision (f) of Section 1156.3, or (4) 60 days after the board has
dismissed a decertification petition upon a finding that the
employer has unlawfully initiated, supported, sponsored, or assisted
in the filing of a decertification petition a declaration that the
parties have failed to reach a collective bargaining agreement and a
request that the board issue an order directing the parties to
mandatory mediation and conciliation of their issues. "Agricultural
employer," for purposes of this chapter, means an agricultural
employer, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1140.4, who has
employed or engaged 25 or more agricultural employees during any
calendar week in the year preceding the filing of a declaration
pursuant to this subdivision.
(b) Upon receipt of a declaration pursuant to subdivision (a), the
board shall immediately issue an order directing the parties to
mandatory mediation and conciliation of their issues. The board shall
request from the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service
a list of nine mediators who have experience in labor mediation. The
California State Mediation and Conciliation Service may include
names chosen from its own mediators, or from a list of names supplied
by the American Arbitration Association or the Federal Mediation
Service. The parties shall select a mediator from the list within
seven days of receipt of the list. If the parties cannot agree on a
mediator, they shall strike names from the list until a mediator is
chosen by process of elimination. If a party refuses to participate
in selecting a mediator, the other party may choose a mediator from
the list. The costs of mediation and conciliation shall be borne
equally by the parties.
(c) Upon appointment, the mediator shall immediately schedule
meetings at a time and location reasonably accessible to the parties.
Mediation shall proceed for a period of 30 days. Upon expiration of
the 30-day period, if the parties do not resolve the issues to their
mutual satisfaction, the mediator shall certify that the mediation
process has been exhausted. Upon mutual agreement of the parties, the
mediator may extend the mediation period for an additional 30 days.
(d) Within 21 days, the mediator shall file a report with the
board that resolves all of the issues between the parties and
establishes the final terms of a collective bargaining agreement,
including all issues subject to mediation and all issues resolved by
the parties prior to the certification of the exhaustion of the
mediation process. With respect to any issues in dispute between the
parties, the report shall include the basis for the mediator's
determination. The mediator's determination shall be supported by the
(e) In resolving the issues in dispute, the mediator may consider
those factors commonly considered in similar proceedings, including:
(1) The stipulations of the parties.
(2) The financial condition of the employer and its ability to
meet the costs of the contract in those instances where the employer
claims an inability to meet the union's wage and benefit demands.
(3) The corresponding wages, benefits, and terms and conditions of
employment in other collective bargaining agreements covering
similar agricultural operations with similar labor requirements.
(4) The corresponding wages, benefits, and terms and conditions of
employment prevailing in comparable firms or industries in
geographical areas with similar economic conditions, taking into
account the size of the employer, the skills, experience, and
training required of the employees, and the difficulty and nature of
the work performed.
(5) The average consumer prices for goods and services according
to the California Consumer Price Index, and the overall cost of
living, in the area where the work is performed.
(a) Either party, within seven days of the filing of the
report by the mediator, may petition the board for review of the
report. The petitioning party shall, in the petition, specify the
particular provisions of the mediator's report for which it is
seeking review by the board and shall specify the specific grounds
authorizing review by the board. The board, within 10 days of receipt
of a petition, may accept for review those portions of the petition
for which a prima facie case has been established that (1) a
provision of the collective bargaining agreement set forth in the
mediator's report is unrelated to wages, hours, or other conditions
of employment within the meaning of Section 1155.2, (2) a provision
of the collective bargaining agreement set forth in the mediator's
report is based on clearly erroneous findings of material fact, or
(3) a provision of the collective bargaining agreement set forth in
the mediator's report is arbitrary or capricious in light of the
mediator's findings of fact.
(b) If it finds grounds exist to grant review within the meaning
of subdivision (a), the board shall order the provisions of the
report that are not the subject of the petition for review into
effect as a final order of the board. If the board does not accept a
petition for review or no petition for review is filed, then the
mediator's report shall become a final order of the board.
(c) The board shall issue a decision concerning the petition and
if it determines that a provision of the collective bargaining
agreement contained in the mediator's report violates the provisions
of subdivision (a), it shall, within 21 days, issue an order
requiring the mediator to modify the terms of the collective
bargaining agreement. The mediator shall meet with the parties for
additional mediation for a period not to exceed 30 days. At the
expiration of this mediation period, the mediator shall prepare a
second report resolving any outstanding issues. The second report
shall be filed with the board.
(d) Either party, within seven days of the filing of the mediator'
s second report, may petition the board for a review of the mediator'
s second report pursuant to the procedures specified in subdivision
(a). If no petition is filed, the mediator's report shall take
immediate effect as a final order of the board. If a petition is
filed, the board shall issue an order confirming the mediator's
report and order it into immediate effect, unless it finds that the
report is subject to review for any of the grounds specified in
subdivision (a), in which case the board shall determine the issues
and shall issue a final order of the board.
(e) Either party, within seven days of the filing of the report by
the mediator, may petition the board to set aside the report if a
prima facie case is established that any of the following have
occurred: (1) the mediator's report was procured by corruption,
fraud, or other undue means, (2) there was corruption in the
mediator, or (3) the rights of the petitioning party were
substantially prejudiced by the misconduct of the mediator. For the
sole purpose of interpreting the terms of paragraphs (1), (2), and
(3), case law that interprets similar terms used in Section 1286.2 of
the Code of Civil Procedure shall apply. If the board finds that any
of these grounds exist, the board shall within 10 days vacate the
report of the mediator and shall order the selection and appointment
of a new mediator, and an additional mediation period of 30 days,
pursuant to Section 1164.
(f) Within 60 days after the order of the board takes effect,
either party or the board may file an action to enforce the order of
the board, in the superior court for the County of Sacramento or in
the county where either party's principal place of business is
located. No final order of the board shall be stayed during any
appeal under this section, unless the court finds that (1) the
appellant will be irreparably harmed by the implementation of the
board's order, and (2) the appellant has demonstrated a likelihood of
success on appeal.
(a) Within 30 days after the order of the board takes
effect, a party may petition for a writ of review in the court of
appeal or the California Supreme Court. If the writ issues, it shall
be made returnable at a time and place specified by court order and
shall direct the board to certify its record in the case to the court
within the time specified. The petition for review shall be served
personally upon the executive director of the board and the
nonappealing party personally or by service.
(b) The review by the court shall not extend further than to
determine, on the basis of the entire record, whether any of the
(1) The board acted without, or in excess of, its powers or
(2) The board has not proceeded in the manner required by law.
(3) The order or decision of the board was procured by fraud or
was an abuse of discretion.
(4) The order or decision of the board violates any right of the
petitioner under the Constitution of the United States or the
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the court
to hold a trial de novo, to take evidence other than as specified by
the California Rules of Court, or to exercise its independent
judgment on the evidence.
(a) The board and each party to the action or proceeding
before the mediator may appear in the review proceeding. Upon the
hearing, the court of appeal or the Supreme Court shall enter
judgment either affirming or setting aside the order of the board.
(b) The provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure relating to
writs of review shall, so far as applicable, apply to proceedings
instituted under this chapter.
No court of this state, except the court of appeal or the
Supreme Court, to the extent specified in this article, shall have
jurisdiction to review, reverse, correct, or annul any order or
decision of the board to suspend or delay the execution or operation
thereof, or to enjoin, restrain, or interfere with the board in the
performance of its official duties, as provided by law and the rules
A demand made pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a)
of Section 1164 may be made only in cases which meet all of the
following criteria: (a) the parties have failed to reach agreement
for at least one year after the date on which the labor organization
made its initial request to bargain, (b) the employer has committed
an unfair labor practice, and (c) the parties have not previously had
a binding contract between them.
To ensure an orderly implementation of the mediation
process ordered by this chapter, a party may not file a total of more
than 75 declarations with the board prior to January 1, 2008. In
calculating the number of declarations so filed, the identity of the
other party with respect to whom the declaration is filed, shall be
The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any
provision of this chapter or its application is held invalid, that
invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can
be given effect without the invalid provision or application.