Amicus brief filed in arbitration challenge

May 31, 2016 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Last week, PLF filed an amicus brief on behalf of a broad coalition of agriculture and property rights groups to challenge California’s so-called Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation Process.  The general rule for labor arbitration between private employers and employees is that the state can force you to negotiate, but it can’t force you to accept any particular terms.  In California, however, agricultural employers can be compelled, at the behest of a disgruntled union, to submit to a private mediator who in turn has the power to impose a collective bargaining “agreement” on the employer.  A California court of appeal ruled last year that this system is unconstitutional because it treats similarly situated employers differently, and because it delegates too much legislative power to private-party mediators. The California Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.  Our amicus brief address both constitutional issues, and makes the larger policy point that the Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation process thwarts basic democratic principles of public deliberation and accountability.  (For more information, check out this blog post by Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute, one of the entities that joined our amicus brief).