2006 - Decertification


Collective Bargaining

Audience List

  • Employee Relations Officers
  • Personnel Officers
  • Transactions Supervisors
  • Labor Relations Officers


This policy

  • Provides direction in the case of efforts to decertify an exclusively recognized labor organization


CalHR issues the following reminders to state departments about neutrality and access rules during a decertification campaign.


Decertification refers to the process whereby a group of employees in an established bargaining unit or an employee organization may file a petition with the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to bring about an election which allows employees to vote to either remove or replace their current exclusive representative.

Strict Neutrality

Department managers, supervisors, and other excluded employees must uphold the state’s position of strict neutrality during a decertification effort. The phrase “all managers, supervisors, and other excluded employees” includes employees who are serving in out-of-class assignments, training and developments assignments, in an “acting” capacity, or an employee holding any type of appointment as a manager, supervisor or excluded employee.

As an employer, the state must maintain an entirely neutral position as to the outcome of any decertification effort. The choice of an exclusive representative (or choosing “no representation”) is a decision for rank and file employees. Managers, supervisors, and other excluded employees are cautioned not to make any statements or otherwise express favoritism or bias about either an incumbent labor organization or a challenger in regards to a decertification effort. The state could be exposed to allegations of an unfair labor practice if a representative of state management expresses or takes action that reflects support or bias toward or otherwise participates in a decertification effort.

Worksite Access

Generally, any labor organization attempting decertification is entitled to meaningful access to state employees for purposes of organizing, as long as such access is during non-work time and in non-work areas accessible to the public. Non-work time is defined as lunch/meal periods, regularly scheduled rest periods, and time before and after work. Generally, non-work areas are defined as cafeterias, building foyers and other locations accessible to the general public. This means a challenger labor organization may visit the worksite and meet with employees during non-work time and in non-work areas consistent with each department’s access policies.

Campaign literature may generally be left in places where employees congregate as long as the areas are accessible to the general public, such as cafeterias. The use of bulletin boards is subject to departmental policy consistent with the non-work time and non-work area requirements described above, however, such use may not diminish the bulletin board space that exists for the exclusive use of an incumbent labor organization. The internal or external use of your department’s internal mail systems, email systems, electronic bulletin boards, etc. by a challenger labor organization or the department’s employees are subject to the department’s policies e.g. information security, minimal and incidental use, etc. Each incident of use should conform to existing policies that govern the type of use being exercised. However, any material mailed to individual employees at the employee’s work address is to be stamped and processed as any other first class mail to the department’s employees are handled. Departments are not to distribute bulk mailings of decertification materials on behalf of a challenger or the incumbent labor organization.

The statements above are general principles applicable during a decertification effort. Due to the particular business operations, policies, and needs of each department, specific requests must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.



  • PML 2015-026: PML 2015-026 - 9/21/2015 - Decertification Campaign

Authorized By

Paul M. Starkey
Deputy Director of Labor Relations, Labor Relations Division

Contact Person

Labor Relations Division
Labor Relations Officer , Labor Relations Division
Phone: 916-324-0476
Fax: 916-322-0765
Email: lr.info@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


View History

Please note that some PDF Forms may not be opened directly in your browser. These PDF forms may be downloaded and saved to your computer to be opened with Adobe Reader.

Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace

3200 - Medical Screening

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment

3500 - Classification Plan