Belated Friday Florida Law Update- Review of Agency Decision

Hello all, and welcome to your belated Friday Florida Law Update!  I seem to be getting into the bad habit of having to play ketchup on Mondays, but it was a very busy Friday both during and after work, so please forgive my tardiness. 

We’re having a little fun with our visual aid in today’s post, as we discuss a case involving a union issue.  So, why not have a pic of screen legend Jack Nicholson as the most famous union advocate in history, Jimmy Hoffa? 

In School District of Indian River Cty. v. Florida Public Employees Relation Commission, 2011 WL 2328306 (Fla. 4th DCA June 15, 2011), Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed a decision of the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission finding that the School District engaged in an unfair labor practice by refusing to impact bargain with the local teachers’ union over a new policy requiring high school teachers to submit lesson plans online via a specific piece of software. 

Following notice of the new policy, the teachers’ union filed an agency complaint, setting forth several reasons why the new policy would require additional work hours and thus, should require collective bargaining between the School District and the Union.  The Commission agreed, finding that it was an unfair labor practice for the School District to refuse to negotiate. 

On appeal, the Fourth DCA affirmed in substantial part, refuting several of the erroneous positions advanced by the School District, including one that the Union was required to wait until the policy was implemented before filing a charge with the Commission.  The Fourth DCA did reverse the attorney’s fee award granted to the Union. 

This case is educational in terms of helping readers understand the different levels of the judiciary.  In addition to the civil and criminal courts with which our readers are most familiar, most state and federal agencies have their own tribunals, with litigants having appellate rights in the civil courts.  However, in Florida, the appellate court may only overturn an agency decision if it was “clearly erroneous,” a difficult standard of review to overcome.  

DISCLOSURE:

THE COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG DO NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.  NOR DO THEY CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.  They are provided for informational purposes only.  Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
Explore posts in the same categories: Florida Law Updates

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