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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XXI LABOR AND INDUSTRIES
  • CHAPTER 150E LABOR RELATIONS: PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
  • Section 11 Complaints; investigation; hearing; orders; review; hearings before board

Section 11. (a) When a complaint is made to the department of labor relations that a practice prohibited by section 10 has been committed, the director may refer the matter to an investigator. The employer, the employee organization, or the person so complained of shall have the right to file an answer to the original or amended complaint within 5 days after the service of such complaint or within such other time as the department may require. Before the receipt of any answer, any complaint may be amended as of right, and, after the receipt of any answer, only with the permission of the department.

(b) The investigator may issue an order dismissing the complaint, deferring any complaint which is the subject of a pending grievance or arbitration, referring any complaint to one of the department’s mediators, or directing that a hearing take place. Unless the complaint is dismissed, deferred, or referred, the investigator shall promptly meet with the parties, investigate whether settlement of the complaint is possible, clarify and narrow the issues before the complaint is forwarded to a hearing, or dismiss the complaint without a hearing. The investigator may dismiss the complaint if she finds no probable cause to believe that a violation of this chapter has occurred or if she otherwise determines that further proceedings would not effectuate the purposes of this chapter.

(c) If a hearing is ordered, the department shall set the time and place for the hearing, which time and place may be changed by the department at the request of one of the parties for cause shown. Any party may file a motion to dismiss the complaint or for a summary decision prior to a hearing. At the hearing, which shall be presided over by a hearing officer, the employer, the employee organization, or the person so complained of shall have the right to appear in person or otherwise to defend against the complaint. At the discretion of the department, any person may be allowed to intervene in such proceeding. In any hearing, the department shall not be bound by the technical rules of evidence prevailing in the courts. The testimony, if any, may be preserved by a taped recording or, at the discretion of the parties who shall be responsible for the costs thereof, by stenographic transcription.

(d) At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue written findings of fact and shall determine whether a practice prohibited under section 10 has been committed and, if so, shall issue an order requiring the charged party to cease and desist from such prohibited practice, and shall take such further affirmative action as will comply with the provisions of this section, including but not limited to the withdrawal of certification of an employee organization established by or assisted in its establishment by any such prohibited practice. The hearing officer shall order the reinstatement with or without back pay of an employee discharged or discriminated against in violation of the first paragraph of this chapter. If the hearing officer determines that a practice prohibited under section 10 has not been or is not being committed, the hearing officer shall state her findings of fact and issue an order dismissing the complaint.

(e) Any order issued pursuant to this section shall become final and binding unless, within 10 days after notice thereof, any party requests a review by the board. A review may be made upon the record, which shall consist of the pleadings, motions, rulings, and the testimony taken at the hearing, if any, or upon such portions of the record as the parties may designate.

(f) Upon any complaint made under this section and a petition filed by one or more parties to the proceeding, the board, in its discretion, and for good cause shown, may order that the hearing be conducted by the board itself. At such hearing the employer, the employee organization or the person so complained of shall have the right to appear in person or otherwise to defend against such complaint. At the discretion of the board, any person may be allowed to intervene in such proceeding. In any hearing, the board shall not be bound by the technical rules of evidence prevailing in the courts. The testimony, if any, may be preserved by a taped recording or, at the discretion of the parties who shall be responsible for the costs thereof, by stenographic transcription.

(g) At the conclusion of the hearing, the board shall state its findings of fact and shall determine whether a practice prohibited under section 10 has been committed and if so, it shall issue an order requiring the charged party to cease and desist from such prohibited practice, and shall take such further affirmative action as will comply with the provisions of this section, including but not limited to the withdrawal of certification of an employee organization established by or assisted in its establishment by any such prohibited practice. The board shall order the reinstatement with or without back pay of an employee discharged or discriminated against in violation of the first paragraph of this chapter. If the board determines that a practice prohibited under section 10 has not been or is not being committed, it shall state its findings of fact and issue an order dismissing the complaint.

(h) Whenever it is alleged that a party has refused to bargain collectively in good faith with the exclusive representative as required in section 10 and that such refusal is based upon a dispute involving the appropriateness of a bargaining unit, the department shall, except for good cause shown, issue an interim order requiring the parties to bargain pending its determination of the dispute. Where such interim order is issued, the board shall hold a hearing on the charge in a summary manner and shall speedily determine the issues raised and shall make an appropriate decision.

(i) The board may institute appropriate proceedings in the appeals court for enforcement of its final orders. Any party aggrieved by a final order of the board may institute proceedings for judicial review in the appeals court within 30 days after receipt of the order. The proceedings in the appeals court shall, insofar as applicable, be governed by section 14 of chapter 30A. The commencement of such proceedings shall not, unless specifically ordered by the court, operate as a stay of the board’s order.