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Public Employee Relations Board
 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where and when can I file a document with the Board?

An initial pleading must be filed with the Board in accordance with Board Rules 501 and 561.  An “initial pleading” is a filing such as a grievance arbitration review request or an unfair labor practice complaint.  These filings must be made within the time periods and provided by the applicable rule and statute.  For example, when filing a grievance arbitration review request (see Board Rule 538), the filing, called a “petition” must be filed within twenty-one (21) days of service of the award.  The Board rules will also specify the content of the complaint or petition.   

How do I file a document with the Board?

All pleadings, motions, memoranda of law, orders, or other documents must be filed electronically through the Board’s designated vendor File & ServeXpress (Vendor), which can be contacted online at www.fileandservexpress.com .

Documents received by mail or hand delivered to the office will be accepted only for purposes of establishing a filing date.  Any party submitting a filing by US Mail or messenger will be notified that it is not in compliance with Board Rule 561 (Electronic Filing) and instructed to resubmit the filing electronically.  Noncompliance with Board Rule 561 will result in delay in processing and possible dismissal of the matter.  

Documents sent by Certified Mail are not delivered to this office and are held at the U.S. Post Office.  Sending items by certified mail will result in a substantial delay in the processing of the filing.

Any pleading filed electronically shall be considered as filed with the Board at the time the transmission is completed.  Any document filed with the Board before midnight Eastern Time is deemed to be filed with the Board on that date. For the purpose of computing time for the filing of a response, any document filed on a day or at a time when the Board is not open for business shall be deemed to have been filed on the next business day.  [See Board Rule 561].

If you are an unrepresented party (pro se) you may file your pleading at the PERB office. The PERB staff will assist unrepresented parties with the electronic filing process.  A public terminal is available for uploading documents into the electronic filing system.  To expedite this process, documents should be on a flash drive or other portable electronic media.  However, documents can be scanned at the PERB office for uploading into the electronic filing system.  

What constitutes “service” or how do I serve other parties?

A party submitting a pleading to the Board must serve a copy of the pleading on every other party at the same time.  If a party is represented by an attorney or other representative, it is sufficient to serve the attorney or representative. Every pleading filed with the Board shall include a signed certificate of service naming who was served, when and how.  [See Board Rule 501.12 - Service Upon Other Parties].

The following applies to the electronic service of pleadings and other documents:

(a)    Electronic and Facsimile Service. All parties or their representatives shall make service upon other parties electronically through the Vendor. Parties who subscribe to the Vendor consent to receive electronic service of documents via the Vendor’s system. Parties, or their designated counsel, shall receive all documents e-filed and/or e-served upon them via access to the Vendor’s system over the Internet or, if a party or party’s designee has not subscribed to the Services, via facsimile transmission. For the purposes of this subsection, service of documents through the Vendor’s system via facsimile is hereby authorized in addition to those methods of service permitted in section 501;  
(b)     Effect of Electronic Service of Filings. The electronic service of a pleading or other document shall be considered as valid and effective service on all parties and shall have the same legal effect as the filing of an original paper document. Proof of service required by section 501 shall not be necessary for electronically filed documents;
(c)     Service on Parties; Time to Respond or Act. E-service shall be deemed complete at the time the Vendor’s system receives the document as reflected by the authorized date and time appearing on the confirmation provided. However, for the purpose of computing time for any other party to respond, any document filed on a day or at a time when the Board is not open for business shall be deemed to have been filed at the time of next opening of the Board for business. If electronic service on a party does not occur because of: (1) inaccessibility to the Vendor’s system; (2) an error in the Vendor’s transmission of notice to the party being served; (3) the Vendor’s failure to process the electronic filing for service; or (4) the party was erroneously excluded from the service list, the party to be served shall, absent extraordinary circumstances, be entitled to an order extending the date for any response or the period within which any right, duty, or other act must be performed. In the event of service via facsimile, the Vendor’s system will record the date and time the fax transmission was completed as proof of service;
(d)     Pro Se Users.  Where a party is proceeding before the Board pro se (on one’s own behalf and/or without legal counsel), pro se users can only receive service via U.S. Mail;   
(e)    The Board may issue, file, and serve notices, orders, and other documents electronically, subject to the provisions of this section; and
(f)    A motion to file documents under seal shall be filed and served electronically. Redacted copies of documents filed under seal may be filed and served electronically; documents filed under seal containing privileged information may be filed conventionally (in physical form) or as a sealed electronic document.
        [See Board Rule 561.8]

How are due dates calculated?

In computing any period of time prescribed by these rules, the day on which the event occurs from which time begins to run shall not be included. If the last day of a prescribed period falls on a Saturday, Sunday or District of Columbia holiday, the period shall extend to the next business day. If a prescribed time period is less than eleven (11) days, Saturdays, Sundays, and District of Columbia holidays shall be excluded from the computation. Whenever the prescribed time period is eleven (11) days or more, such days shall be included in the computation.   (See above.)

See Board Rule 501.5.

For example, when filing a grievance arbitration review request [See Board Rule 538], the filing, called a “petition” must be filed within twenty (20) days of service of the award.   

Unfair Labor Practice Complaints and Standards of Conduct Complaints must be filed no less than 120 days from the date of the incident.  [See Board Rule 520 – Unfair Labor Practice Complaints] and Board Rule 544 – Standards of Conduct Complaints].

Can I get an extension?

Yes, you may request an extension for filings other than an initial filing. An extension request must be made at least three (3) days prior to the expiration of the filing period.  [See Board Rule 501.2].

What if my filing is or will be late?

Except for initial filings, a party may request an extension of time from PERB, after receiving consent of the other party.  Additionally, the Executive Director may grant a waiver of a time limit at his discretion. (See Board Rules 501.1, 501.2 and 501.3.)

A request for an extension of time shall be in writing and made at least three (3) days prior to the expiration of the filing period. Exceptions to this requirement may be granted for good cause shown as determined by the Executive Director.

The request for an extension of time shall indicate the purpose and reason for the requested extension of time and the positions of all interested parties regarding the extension. With the exception of the time limit for the filing of the initial pleading that begins a proceeding of the Board, the parties may waive all time limits established by the Board by written agreement in order to expedite a pending matter.

Is there a page limit for filings?

Yes, the page limit for a filing before PERB is 20 pages, double-spaced.  (See Board Rule 501.9.)

What is the difference between mediation and a hearing?

All matters which require the Board to make factual investigations or determinations may be submitted to mandatory mediation at the discretion of the Board.  Mediation is an alternative to litigation and holds the potential to resolve, short of litigation, disputes that are brought before PERB.

In mediation, a mediator assists the parties in resolving their dispute.  The mediator is a neutral third-party with no authority to make a decision.  The value of mediation is that the parties themselves, with the help of the mediator, devise an agreement to resolve their dispute.  

Resolving disputes through mediation holds the potential to reduce litigation, thereby saving time and money for PERB and the parties alike, as well as enhancing the operation of PERB and the moving parties.  PERB will now consider mandatory mediation services for all matters submitted to the Board.

The Board’s Mediation and Settlement Program is designed to allow the parties the opportunity to reach a settlement by negotiating with one another with the assistance of a mediator. Mediation offers the parties the chance to control the outcome of the matter by arriving at a mutually-agreeable settlement, rather than having the Board issue a Decision and Order which will necessarily be favorable to one party and adverse to the other.

Before the mediation and settlement conference, the parties are asked to consider their positions and to be prepared to make reasonable concessions.  In addition, each side is encouraged to listen to the other side’s point of view.  This is crucial if a settlement is to be reached.

All statements made during the mediation session are confidential and will not be made part of the official record.  If the parties cannot settle the matter through mediation, the matter will be adjudicated.  Thus, neither party's right to a resolution of the matter is compromised by an attempt to arrive at a settlement through mediation.

If a matter is not resolved through mediation, the Board will continue to process the case through a hearing examiner.  In any proceeding when a hearing is to be held, the Executive Director or any other authorized agent of the Board may meet with the parties to conduct one or more pre-hearing conferences to do any one or more of the following:

(a) Delineating the issues;

(b) Agreeing on such facts, matters and procedures as will facilitate and expedite the case; and

(c) Exchanging lists of witnesses and exhibits.

[See Board Rule 550.1]

Hearing Examiners shall have the duty to conduct fair and impartial hearings, to take all necessary action to avoid delay in the disposition of proceedings, and to maintain order.  [See Board Rule 550.13].

How do I get information on the status of a case?

The best method for retrieving information on cases filed with the Board is to use PERB’s electronic filing system, which can be accessed by logging onto the representative’s account with File & ServeXpress.  If the matter was not initially filed electronically, active cases are gradually being entered into the system.  Also, if you are not a represented party, you find out the status of your case by submitting a request for status to PERB in writing.  While phone requests can be taken, in most cases PERB staff will be unable to provide an immediate answer.  If you must call PERB for an update on the status of your case, please have your case number, the date of filing and the names of the parties involved at the ready to help us better assist you in locating your case.   Also, please make sure that you document when you called our office and who you spoke with so that we may better serve you in follow-up discussions.

Can I see a copy of the record in my case?

Yes. A party may submit a request to view the record in their case in writing to PERB.  A phone call to PERB’s main office is also acceptable to set up an appointment.  When making a request to see a copy of your record, please notify our office of the specific date and time you wish to come review your record.  Copies of your record can be made at PERB for the costs of 30 cents a page.  Filings that have been made after the Board’s mandatory e-filing rule has taken effect, are available through the Board’s electronic filing system.

When will I receive a decision in my case?

Ideally, your case should be decided approximately four (4) months after the date the case was filed with the Board.  The amount of time required to process and decide a case can vary from that estimate as a result of factors such as the complexity of the case and the Board’s current caseload and resources.  

Will I be able to file a brief in support of my complaint or petition?

Yes, especially accompanying cases such as unfair labor practice complaints, standards of conduct complaints and negotiability appeals.  [See Board Rule 520 – Unfair Labor Practice Complaints; Board Rule 544 – Standards of Conduct Complaints; & Board Rule 532 - Negotiability Appeals].  

Any party may submit to the hearing examiner a brief which meets the requirements of Section 501 of these rules. Briefs or written closing arguments shall be filed not later than twenty (20) days after the transcript becomes available and the parties are so informed. The Executive Director may, for good cause shown, extend the time for the filing of briefs.  [See Board Rule 555.2.]

Can I present an oral argument before the Board?

Any party shall be entitled, upon request, to a reasonable time for oral argument prior to the close of the hearing, except that upon the agreement of all parties or at the direction of the hearing examiner, the parties may submit written closing arguments instead of post-hearing briefs.  [See Board Rule 555.1.]

How will I be notified of the Board’s decision?

A party is notified of a Board decision, when PERB sends out a copy of the Decision and Order.  The Board’s Decision and Order will be sent to the parties’ representatives by U.S. Mail and by electronic service (by File&ServeXpress or by email).  Copies may also be sent by facsimile upon request.  Interested parties, such as a grievant, an agency labor relations official or union official may request to be copied as well.

How do I appeal a decision of the Board?

The Board's Decision and Order shall become final thirty (30) days after issuance unless the order specifies otherwise. [See Board Rule 559.1.]

The Board's Decision and Order shall not become final if any party files a motion for reconsideration within ten (10) days after issuance of the decision. [See Board Rule 559.2.]

DC Official Code Section 1-617.13 provides that any person aggrieved by a final order of the Board granting or denying in whole or in part the relief sought may obtain review of such order in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by filing a request within 30 days after the final order has been issued. The Court shall have the same jurisdiction to review the Board’s order and to grant to the Board such order of enforcement as in the case of a request by the Board.

(For the DC Official Code, go to: DC Laws.)

How do I obtain a subpoena?

A party may apply for issuance of a subpoena requiring a person to appear and testify at a specific place and time.  The application must be made in writing to the Executive Director.  All requests for subpoenas for witness to provide testimony (ad testificandum) shall clearly identify the person subpoenaed and be accompanied by a payment of forty dollars ($40) for each day the witness is expected to attend the hearing.  The payment may be by certified check or money order payable to each person subpoenaed.  (See Board Rule 552.2.)
 
A party may also apply for issuance of a subpoena requiring a person to produce documents (including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, electronic records and other recordings, and other data compilations from which information may be obtained) at a specific time and place shall be made in writing to the Executive Director.  (See Board Rule 552.2.)

An applicant for subpoena shall arrange for service. The following rules shall apply to service of subpoenas:

(a) Personal service: Service of a subpoena may be made by any person, who is not a party to the proceeding and who is at least eighteen (18) years of age. Service of the subpoena shall be attested to in an affidavit by the person making such service. The attesting affidavit shall state the date, time, and method of service.

(b) Service by certified mail: Service of a subpoena may be made by certified mail. If the subpoena is served by certified mail, a copy of the document shall be addressed to the person or business entity to be served, at his or her residence, principal office or place of business. The return receipt shall be proof of service of the document.

(See Board Rule 552.3.)

(c) Service through the Board’s electronic filing system.  [See Board Rule 561].    

What if I disagree with the Report and Recommendation of a Hearing Examiner?

After the conclusion of a hearing, the hearing examiner shall prepare a report and recommendation after the close of the hearing and the receipt of briefs, if any.  (See Board Rule 556.1.)  Copies of the hearing examiner’s report and recommendation shall be forwarded to the parties’ representatives by the Executive Director. (See Board Rule 556.2.)

Within fourteen (14) days after service of the report and recommendation, any party may file precise, specific, written exceptions with the Board. Written exceptions shall meet the requirements of Section 501 of these rules. (See Board Rule 556.3.)

An opposition to exceptions may be filed within fourteen (14) days after service of the exceptions.
(See Board Rule 556.4.)
 
The Board may order additional briefs where it deems appropriate. The Board may also order an oral argument on its own motion or upon motion of a party. (See Board Rule 556.5.)

Can I settle a case after filing a complaint, petition or request with the Board?

Parties to a matter, or dispute, may settle the matter at any time.  In addition, a party may withdraw a complaint, petition or request prior to should the initiating party choose to withdraw the matter without prejudice (which means the matter can be filed again at a later time), at any time prior to an answer being filed.  (For example, see Board Rules 520.5 – Unfair Labor Practice Complaint; or Board Rule 544.5 – Standards of Conduct Complaint.)