Public Employee’s Claims that a Union Breached its Duty of Fair Representation must be Made in Court not at the PLRB

July 11, 2007

In Case v. Hazelton Area Educational, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held that "[i]ndividual claims by employees against the union that allege a breach of the duty of fair representation do not qualify as [complaints of] unfair labor practices in violation of the PERA [Public Employe Relations Act]." This ruling forces public employees to assert their individual claims against their union for violation of the duty of fair representation in court and not with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB). The court expressly overruled Segilia v. Riverside School Service Personnel Association, 526 A.2d 832 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1987), to the extent that case allowed individual claims before the PLRB.