Black v. Coos County

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Employment Law
  • Date Filed: 09-27-2017
  • Case #: A161377
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeVore, P.J. for the Court; Garrett, J.; & Edmonds, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act, (PECBA), public employers and employees are required to enter into collective bargaining agreements, and to resolve disputes pertaining to allegations of unfair labor practices through the Employment Relations Board, (ERB). ORS 243.650 to 243.782.

Plaintiffs appealed a judgment of dismissal of unjust enrichment and negligent misrepresentation claims against the County of Coos Bay, (the County), for a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs assigned error to the trial court's determination that the claims involved a “reduction of monetary benefits,” meaning the claims were directed to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Employment Relations Board, (ERB), under the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act, (PECBA), ORS 243.650 to 243.782. On appeal, Plaintiffs argued that negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment claims at common-law are customarily within the jurisdiction of a circuit court, even those that relating to public employment matters. In response, the County argued that Plaintiffs' claims entailed allegations of unfair labor practices as proscribed by ORS 243.672(1)(f), which broadly defines the act as a public employer's failure to adhere to every provision of the PECBA. Under the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act, (PECBA), public employers and employees are required to enter into collective bargaining agreements, and to resolve disputes pertaining to allegations of unfair labor practices through the Employment Relations Board, (ERB). ORS 243.650 to 243.782. The Court of Appeals held that the issues raised by the Plaintiff did not involve collective bargaining nor were they seeking monetary benefits that would require ERB to have exclusive jurisdiction over the matter. Reversed and remanded.

Advanced Search