print logo
Main Content Anchor

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

What is a job action?What is a job action?<p>​A job action is a work slowdown, work stoppage, strike, sick-out, or any other interference with the work and statutory functions or obligations of the state.</p>
Do state employees currently have the right to strike or engage in other types of job actions that interfere with the work of the state?Do state employees currently have the right to strike or engage in other types of job actions that interfere with the work of the state?<p>​No. The unions agreed to labor contracts with a "No-Strike" clauses that prohibit employees from engaging in any type of strike or job action, including a work slowdown, work stoppage, or any other interference with the work and statutory functions or obligations of the state.</p>
Does a contract apply even if the labor contract has expired?Does a contract apply even if the labor contract has expired?<p>​Yes. According to Government Code section 3517.8, the labor contract provisions remain in effect even though the labor contract between the state and the employee bargaining representatives has expired.</p>
What about strikes of one or two days?What about strikes of one or two days?<p>​Any strike or job action that interferes with the business of the state is prohibited, regardless of its duration.</p>
What are the consequences to an employee if he or she participates in a job action?What are the consequences to an employee if he or she participates in a job action?<p>​Employees may be regarded as Absent Without Leave (AWOL). Those who are regarded as AWOL will not be paid for any time in which they participated in a strike or job action. In addition, those employees may be subject to disciplinary or other appropriate administrative action. Each absence will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The department's labor relations officer and CalHR must be consulted prior to initiating disciplinary or other administrative action against an employee who participated in a strike or job action.</p>
​Does this include sick outs?​Does this include sick outs?<p>Yes, sick-outs are prohibited by the No-Strike Clauses in the labor contracts and the Government Code. Employees who participate in a sick-out may be regarded as AWOL.</p>
What happens if an employee is legitimately absent and is not participating in a sick-out?What happens if an employee is legitimately absent and is not participating in a sick-out?<p>​Each case should be carefully reviewed and leave should only be authorized if it is clearlylegitimate. Supervisors should seek further guidance from their labor relations officer and CalHR.</p>
Some union representatives are informing employees that a strike or sick-out is protected activity and that employees who participate cannot be disciplined.Some union representatives are informing employees that a strike or sick-out is protected activity and that employees who participate cannot be disciplined.<p>​The state does not agree for the reasons outlined above. Employees who participate in a job action risk the disciplinary consequences described above. </p>
Some union literature calls for meetings to discuss "strike options." Is this allowed?Some union literature calls for meetings to discuss "strike options." Is this allowed?<p>​Unions are permitted to hold meetings with members to discuss the status of bargaining and the options available to secure an agreement. A meeting to discuss "strike options" is not necessarily a meeting to call a strike. Employees who participate in such meetings on their own time without disrupting state operations are not participating in an illegal job action.<br> However, the labor contracts prohibit the unions from condoning a strike or other types of job actions. Any direct evidence of union involvement in encouraging these prohibited actions should be brought to the attention of your department's labor relations officer and CalHR.</p>
Can employees participate in informational picketing and rallies called by the union?Can employees participate in informational picketing and rallies called by the union?<p>​Employees may participate on their own time (e.g., before or after work, vacation, CTO, annual leave, etc.) in lawful informational picketing or rallies so long as such activities do not interfere with work and statutory functions or obligations of the state. For concerns related to picketing activity, departments should seek further guidance from their labor relations officer and CalHR.</p>
What activities are permitted in "lawful informational picketing?"What activities are permitted in "lawful informational picketing?"<p>​Employees may assemble in public places and carry pickets or distribute handbills, and may speak with the public or their fellow employees. These activities must be peaceful, and may not have the purpose or the effect of interfering with the work and statutory functions or obligations of the state. For concerns related to picketing activity, departments should seek further guidance from their labor relations officer and CalHR.</p>
Where are employees permitted to picket?Where are employees permitted to picket?<p>​Employees are permitted to picket in public places, such as public sidewalks in front of their place of employment, or at public parks or other public spaces. They are not allowed to block entrances or exits to the workplace or to disrupt the state's ability to fulfill its statutory functions or obligations. For concerns related to picketing activity, departments should seek further guidance from their labor relations officer and CalHR.</p>
May picketing employees encourage other employees to join the picket line?May picketing employees encourage other employees to join the picket line?<p>​Picketing employees may encourage others to join them; however, all employees have a right to choose whether or not to join a picket line. Anyone who attempts to harass or threaten a worker for not joining a picket line may be committing an unfair labor practice. Employees should report any abusive behavior by picketers. For concerns related to picketing activity, departments should seek further guidance from their labor relations officer and CalHR.</p>
Should employers grant an employee’s request to use vacation or annual leave on a day in which there is planned informational picketing?Should employers grant an employee’s request to use vacation or annual leave on a day in which there is planned informational picketing?<p>​Requests to use paid leave should be evaluated in accordance with existing departmental vacation and leave policies. Employers should not inquire as to the basis for the requested leave. Employers should consider operational and coverage needs in granting or denying a request for leave.</p>
What direction should be given to employees in the event a job action results in the temporary closure of a worksite?What direction should be given to employees in the event a job action results in the temporary closure of a worksite?<p>​In compliance with any applicable procedures contained in the collective bargaining agreements, the following steps should be taken in the event of the temporary closure of a worksite. If feasible, the department should temporarily relocate employees and work to alternative worksites. Alternatively, the department may allow employees to perform work remotely pursuant to a telework policy. If the department has no other alternative, employees should be dismissed from the worksite on paid administrative time off (ATO). Employees placed on ATO must be available and accessible to their supervisors, via phone, during the department’s normal business hours.</p>

Supporting Page
Link Back to Top