Kangaroo court: ALRB’s own rules violate the law mandating impartiality

The state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) is breaking state law, raising questions about the legitimacy of the board’s actions and decisions.

In layman’t terms, the ALRB is illegally serving as the UFW’s own kangaroo court to force UFW contracts on unwilling workers and employers.

At issue is the ALRB’s legal mandate to be an impartial advocate of farmworkers, while the ALRB acts as an investigator and prosecutor. One cannot be an impartial prosecutor. Therefore, the ALRB is a kangaroo court: An unfair, biased judicial proceeding whose leaders and procedures are considered a sham, corrupt, and without regard for the law.

Pick Justice found a legal analysis of the ALRB’s $10 million campaign to impose a UFW contract on Gerawan farmworkers and employers. It shows that a “prosecutor cannot simultaneously act as the lawyer for the ALRB and as a party before the ALRB in the same matter.” Here’s why this is illegal under the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA), which created the board:

  • “The impartiality of the tribunal is compromised, because it is obtaining ‘confidential attorney-client’ communications from the prosecutor concerning the case being tried before the Board as to the defendant. It would be as if the GC [General Counsel] makes an objection during trial; then walks up to the court, has a private conference to advise it as to who to rule.”
  • “An attorney can have confidential communications with his client. But a party advocate cannot have off the record, secret communications with the tribunal. Such ex parte communications are strictly forbidden by the ALRA itself (which separates the roles of the Board and the GC as a matter of statute); Board’s own ‘prohibited communications’ regulations, the California Administrative Procedure Act, and the constitutional safeguard of due process. This is more than a concern over preserving the integrity of the record. Ex parte communications are seen as per se improper, because they create the appearance of taint, precisely because we cannot know what was said, and were given no chance to respond.
  • “The substance of the secret communications is irrelevant – if the GC is BOTH a party before the Board and its attorney, the risk of bias is constitutionally impermissible. But here the GC shared with the Board evidence and pleadings about this case. The Board received a ‘TRO packet’ that accuses Gerawan of violating the law. It won’t share this evidence with Gerawan. This is no different than a ‘star chamber‘ where a defendant faces accusations but is never shown the evidence against him.”