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Association For Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs v. County of Los Angeles

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Fifth Division

February 17, 2015

ASSOCIATION FOR LOS ANGELES DEPUTY SHERIFFS et al., Cross-complainants and Respondents,
v.
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, Cross-defendant and Appellant.

APPEAL from an order of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, No. BC480611 William F. Fahey, Judge.

Page 460

COUNSEL

Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, Brian P. Walter, Geoffrey S. Sheldon, Paul D. Knothe for Cross-defendant and Appellant.

Page 461

Goyette & Associates and Gary G. Goyette, for Cross-complainants and Respondents.

OPINION

MOSK, Acting P. J.

INTRODUCTION

Cross-defendant and appellant the County of Los Angeles, by and through its Sheriff’s Department and Lee Baca (County), sought to compel individual arbitrations of grievances by certain union employees employed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and the now defunct Office of Public Safety (OPS) and represented by cross-complainants and respondents the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association (LAPPOA) and the Associations for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) (collectively Unions). The trial court refused to compel such arbitrations, ruling that Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.2 (section 1281.2) gave it discretion, in the interest of judicial economy, to stay the arbitration of arbitral issues between the parties while it resolved issues between the parties that were not subject to arbitration, which resolution might make arbitrations unnecessary. Because we hold that all of the issues between the parties were subject to individual arbitrations and therefore the part of section 1281.2 upon which the trial court relied was inapplicable, we reverse.

BACKGROUND

The Unions represent employees in five bargaining units (sometimes BU’s)—ALADS represents BU 611 (LASD non-supervisor or line level deputy sheriffs) and LAPPOA represents BU 612 (LASD supervisor level deputy sheriffs holding the rank of sergeant or lieutenant), BU 621 (LASD non-sworn employees including security officers), BU 631 (former OPS non-supervisor or line level peace officers), and BU 632 (former OPS supervisor level peace officers holding the rank of sergeant or lieutenant). The Unions, on behalf of their bargaining units, entered into five collective bargaining agreements or memoranda of understanding (MOU’s) with the County concerning the employment of bargaining unit employees.

The MOU’s contained grievance procedures for resolving complaints concerning the interpretation or application of the MOU’s. The grievance procedures consisted of a series of progressive steps culminating in arbitration. The arbitration provisions in the MOU’s for BU’s 611, 612, and 621

Page 462

allowed an employee, if represented by ALADS or LAPPOA, to submit a written request for arbitration with the Los Angeles County Employee Relations Commission (ERCOM) upon the County’s denial of a grievance; under the MOU’s for BU’s 631 and 632, LAPPOA was to file the request for arbitration with ERCOM on its employee’s behalf.[1]

On behalf of the five bargaining units and their employees, the Unions filed class grievances with the County seeking overtime pay for “donning and doffing” and related activities—i.e., putting on, taking off, and maintaining their uniforms and equipment—and “off-the-clock” supervisory activities ...


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