November 27, 2021
Bulletin 51 – 21
As noted in our last member update, the Department has begun sending Chiefs into the field to serve a “Notice of Order” to bargaining unit members who are not in compliance with the City’s vaccination mandate and reporting requirements. The letter notifies the unit members that they have 48 hours to register their vaccination status with Bluestone or register with Bluestone and file for an exemption. Unit members do not have the right to Union representation or to record so long as the Chiefs are not interrogating or asking questions as part of an investigation. If the Chief is only handing you a paper and reading from a script, you have no legal right to Union representation or to record under the FBOR. However, if the Chief begins to question you, then your rights under the FBOR will likely be triggered. Regardless of your legal rights, if you would like Union representation and to record, you should make the request. Some Chiefs have allowed both requests.
IMPORTANT: UFLAC has heard that the Department is going to start placing unit members on unpaid leave if they are not compliant with the vaccine mandate. We believe those who will be affected are those employees who have not requested an exemption, haven’t registered with Bluestone and haven’t agreed to the testing terms. UFLAC has not seen any draft notice that the Department intends to serve onto unit members and UFLAC does not know what timeline the Department plans to follow in removing unit members from the field and commencing the termination procedure. We are actively seeking this and more information, and will provide updates as we learn.
WHAT WE KNOW NOW:
- If you are placed on unpaid leave, please contact UFLAC as soon as possible at (213) 895-4006 so we can provide you with representation and assistance.
- If you are placed on unpaid leave, you have the right to use CTO time.
- In order to start the discipline process the Department must first serve a Skelly packet to you. A Skelly packet notifies you that the Department intends to take disciplinary action against you and should include an explanation of the charges against you and the information that the Department is relying upon to support its intent to discipline you. The Skelly packet will either be personally served at your place of residence or mailed by certified mail to your place of residence.
- Once you receive a Skelly packet, please contact UFLAC as soon as possible at (213) 895-4006. You have a right to Union representation once you are served. You also have a right to respond to the charges alleged against you. You can respond in writing or in person at a Skelly hearing. PLEASE READ THE SKELLY NOTICE CAREFULLY as it will likely provide a deadline by which you need to respond. If you miss the deadline, you may waive certain rights.
- Once you have been provided an opportunity to respond to the charges against you, the Department will make a final decision regarding whether to discipline. If the Department decides to move forward with discipline, you should receive written notice of this decision. The notice will be served either by personal service at your place of residence or mailed by certified mail to your place of residence.
- Once the Department notifies you of the discipline, you have the right to challenge the decision before a Board of Rights.
- You will have 5 days after personal service or 10 days after service by certified mail to request a Board of Rights. IF YOU FAIL TO MAKE A TIMELY REQUEST YOU WILL FORFEIT YOUR RIGHTS TO A BOARD – do not wait!
- After you request a Board of Rights you will be asked to pick a Board of 3 Chiefs.
- Once you select your Board, you will be placed on leave with no pay and will not be able to use CTO time.
- The Board of Rights will be scheduled to convene not less than 5 days and not more than 10 days after selection of the Board. You will have the right to a Union representative and/or your own lawyer at the Board of Rights. More details about the Board of Rights can be found under Section 1060 of the Los Angeles City Charter at https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/los_angeles/latest/laac/0-0-0-4291.
UFLAC will continue to provide updates as we learn more information.
UFLAC Executive Committee