Hastings Law Journal


Susan T. Sekler


Public sector employment in California has expanded dramatically in recent years, with corresponding increases both in public employee union membership and in the number of public sector strikes. While the California Supreme Court has declined to resolve the issue of whether strikes by public employees are legal, the California Court of Appeal has adopted the common law rule and generally has prohibited strikes by public employees. The supreme court now faces another opportunity to resolve the issue in County Snlitatlon Disicit v. Los Angeles County Employees Association. This Note begins with an analysis of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act, concluding that a right to strike is consistent with the purposes and legislative intent of the Act. The Note then traces judicial interpretations of the Act and examines the treatment of public employee strikes in the court of appeal and the supreme. court. Finally, the Note analyzes the justifications for the common law strike prohibition and why they are not applicable to modern public employment conditions in California. The Note concludes that the California Supreme Court should reformulate the common law rule to give local public employees the right to strike, except when a court finds that the strike would threaten public health and safety.

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