BEFORE THE BOARD OF PERSONNEL APPEALS
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY
STATE OF MONTANA
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On February 23, 2018, the Board of Personnel Appeals published MAR Notice No. 24-26-336 regarding the public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules, at page 382 of the 2018 Montana Administrative Register, Issue No. 4.
2. On April 6, 2018, a public hearing was held on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules in Helena. Several comments were received by the April 13, 2018 deadline.
3. The board has thoroughly considered the comments received. A summary of the comments and the board responses are as follows:
COMMENT 1: A commenter generally expressed support for the proposed amendments to ARM 24.26.612, 24.26.618, 24.26.643, and 24.26.680.
RESPONSE 1: The board acknowledges the comment.
COMMENT 2: A commenter requested that the board amend ARM 24.26.614(5), to shorten the timeline from ten days to five days for informal resolution, to decrease the time for the issuance of a determination after hearing from 30 days to 20 days, and to decrease from 60 days to 30 days the amount of time for extension of an initial deadline.
RESPONSE 2: The board agrees that that the resolution process can be somewhat streamlined, but it is cognizant of the workload of the department's Office of Administrative Hearings, which acts as the board's agent for purposes of holding contested case hearings. Accordingly, the board will shorten the timelines as requested, but it will specify that the timelines under ARM 24.26.614(5) are business days.
COMMENT 3: A commenter expressed support for the proposed amendment of ARM 24.26.614, but stated that ARM 24.26.620 should also be amended in order to be consistent with the process described in ARM 24.26.614. The commenter stated that without providing definitive timelines for petitions to be reviewed and heard, the process is subject to lengthy delays. The commenter also suggested additional language be added to ARM 24.26.614(1) to clarify that certain aspects of ARM 24.26.620(1)(a) and (3) do not apply to counter petitions.
RESPONSE 3: The request to amend ARM 24.26.620 is outside of the scope of the proposed rulemaking, and therefore cannot be acted upon as part of this rulemaking proceeding. The request to amend ARM 24.26.614(1) as suggested is likewise outside the scope of the proposed rulemaking. The board will consider the comment as a request for additional rulemaking, and discuss whether to propose the amendments in a future rulemaking.
COMMENT 4: A commenter requested that the board amend ARM 24.26.655, Election Directed, and ARM 24.26.677, Certification, to eliminate the need for an election if a majority of employees in the proposed bargaining unit have signed authorization cards.
RESPONSE 4: The request to amend ARM 24.26.655 and 24.26.667 is outside of the scope of the proposed rulemaking, and therefore cannot be acted upon as part of this rulemaking proceeding. The board will consider the comment as a request for additional rulemaking, and discuss whether to propose the amendments in a future rulemaking.
4. The board has amended ARM 24.26.612, 24.26.618, 24.26.643, and 24.26.680 exactly as proposed.
5. The board has amended ARM 24.26.614 with the following changes, stricken matter interlined, new matter underlined:
24.26.614 EMPLOYER COUNTER PETITION (1) through (4) remain as proposed.
(5) A board agent shall have
ten five business days to work with the parties to resolve issues raised in the counter petition. If the parties do not reach a resolution within ten five business days, the board agent shall transfer the counter petition to the Office of Administrative Hearings. A hearing examiner shall conduct an informal expedited hearing and issue a determination within 30 20 business days of the counter petition's certification by the Office of Administrative Hearings. A hearing examiner may, at the hearing examiner's discretion or upon good cause shown by a party, extend the initial deadline for an additional period not to exceed a total of 60 30 business days from the counter petition's certification by the Office of Administrative Hearings.
(6) and (7) remain as proposed.
/s/ Mark Cadwallader
/s/ Galen Hollenbaugh
Department of Labor and Industry
/s/ Anne L. MacIntyre
Anne L. MacIntyre
Board of Personnel Appeals
Certified to the Secretary of State July 31, 2018.