Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter V. Public Employee Relations Board.


§ 1–605.01. Establishment of Board; qualifications; composition; term of office; removal; vacancies; conflict of interest; compensation; attendance at meetings; appointment of employees; request for appropriations; quorum.

(a) There is established a Public Employee Relations Board (hereinafter referred to in this subchapter as the “Board”) consisting of 5 members, not otherwise in the employment of any labor organization granted exclusive recognition under this chapter or the District of Columbia government: Except, that members of the Board of Labor Relations established by Commissioner’s Order 70-229 may be appointed to the Public Employee Relations Board. The members shall be appointed by the Mayor within 60 days after the effective date of this subsection.

(b) The Mayor shall select members of the Board from persons who through their experience have demonstrated an expert knowledge of the field of labor relations and who possess the integrity and impartiality necessary to protect the public interest and the interests of the District of Columbia government and its employees. Every effort shall be made to select members who have experience in public sector labor relations and preference shall be given to such persons in the Mayor’s appointments to the Board.

(c) The members of the Board shall be selected by the Mayor in the following manner:

(1) One member shall be chosen from those persons whose names appear upon lists proposed by labor organizations each of which has been granted exclusive recognition for at least 250 District government employees at the time that the Mayor is making his or her selection;

(2) One member shall be chosen from a list of at least 2 names proposed by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Mayor representing agency heads within the District government; and

(3) Three neutral members, of whom 1 shall be designated by the Mayor as Chairperson, shall be public members.

(d) The term of office for each member is 3 years: Except, that members first appointed to the Public Employee Relations Board shall serve the following terms:

(1) Two members shall serve for 1 year;

(2) two additional members shall serve for 2 years; and

(3) the Chairperson shall serve a 3-year term.

The Mayor shall designate the term of each member at the time of his or her appointment.

(e) The Mayor may remove any member of the Board who engages in any activity prohibited by subsection (g) of this section or for repeated failures to attend Board meetings, and appoint a new member in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section to serve until the expiration of the term of the member so removed. When the Mayor believes that any member has engaged in any such activity, he or she shall initiate an action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of § 16-3521 et seq. to remove such member.

(f) Any vacancy occurring in the Board shall be filled within 45 days after the occurrence of such vacancy excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.

(g) A member of the Board who: (1) Violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section; (2) engages in a conflict of interest in violation of the provisions of subchapter XVIII of this chapter; or (3) is convicted for an offense against the labor relations laws of the United States or of the District of Columbia, or for any other crime, which if committed in the District of Columbia would be a felony, which is by this or any other statute punishable by disqualification to hold office, in addition to the other punishment prescribed for such offenses, shall be removed from office as provided in this section.

(h) The procedure provided in subsection (c) of this section for filling a vacancy resulting from the expiration of a term of office shall be initiated at least 30 days prior to the expiration. If a vacancy occurs during a term due to removal, resignation, or death of a member, the new appointee’s term of office shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term. Appointment procedures for such new appointees shall be those provided in subsection (c) of this section. No person shall serve for more than 3 consecutive terms; provided, that a term to fill the remainder of an unexpired term left vacant due to the removal, resignation, or death of a member shall not count toward this limit.

(i) If at any time any matter comes before the Board in which any member has any interest, directly or indirectly, other than as that of a taxpayer, the member shall publicly so state and this statement shall be recorded in the minutes of that meeting. The member thereafter is disqualified from participation in the consideration of said matter.

(j) Each member of the Board is entitled to compensation as provided in § 1-611.12. Each member of the Board is expected to attend the regularly scheduled meetings of the Board. Thus a member may be removed by the Mayor, as provided in subsection (g) of this section, for repeated failures to attend such meetings, thereby hindering the work of the Board.

(k) The Board may appoint such employees as may be required to conduct its business. The Board is authorized to request such appropriations as may be necessary to carry out its functions. Each employee of the Board, except the Executive Director, is in the Career Service as defined in subchapter VIII of this chapter. The Executive Director and the attorneys shall be in the Legal Service as defined in subchapter VIII-B of this chapter. The Executive Director shall be a resident of the District and shall remain a District resident for the duration of his or her employment by the Board. Failure to maintain District residency shall result in a forfeiture of the position.

(l) Three members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 501, 25 DCR 5740; Oct. 20, 2005, D.C. Law 16-33, § 3018, 52 DCR 7503; Feb. 6, 2008, D.C. Law 17-108, § 203(b), 54 DCR 10993; Apr. 25, 2018, D.C. Law 22-88, § 2, 65 DCR 2370.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-605.1.

1973 Ed., § 1-335.1.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-523.01, § 1-636.02, and § 6-201.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-33, in subsec. (k), added the third sentence.

D.C. Law 17-108, in subsec. (k), inserted the following two sentences: “The Executive Director shall be a resident of the District and shall remain a District resident for the duration of his or her employment by the Board. Failure to maintain District residency shall result in a forfeiture of the position.”

Cross References

Washington Convention Center employees, applicability of this subchapter, see § 10-1201.01 et seq.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Public Employee Relations Board Term Limit Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-171, Nov. 14, 2017, 64 DCR 12039).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3018 of Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-168, July 26, 2005, 52 DCR 7667).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Public Employee Relations Board Holdover Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-101, June 2, 2009, 56 DCR).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Public Employee Relations Board Holdover Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-74, June 22, 2011, 58 DCR 5373).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Public Employee Relations Board Term Limit Temporary Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Law 22-50, Jan. 27, 2018, 64 DCR 12547).

References in Text

“The effective date of this subsection,” referred to in the second sentence of (a), is March 3, 1979.


§ 1–605.02. Powers of the Board.

The Board shall have the power to do the following:

(1) Resolve unit determination questions and other representation issues (including but not limited to disputes concerning the majority status of a labor organization);

(2) Certify and decertify exclusive bargaining representatives;

(3) Decide whether unfair labor practices have been committed and issue an appropriate remedial order;

(4) Resolve bargaining impasses through fact-finding, final and binding arbitration, or other methods agreed upon by the parties as approved by the Board and to remand disputes if it believes further negotiations are desirable. Arbitration shall not be conducted by the Board itself, but the Board shall provide arbitrators selected at random from a panel or list of arbitrators maintained by the Board and consisting of persons agreed upon by labor and management;

(5) Make a determination in disputed cases as to whether a matter is within the scope of collective bargaining;

(6) Consider appeals from arbitration awards pursuant to a grievance procedure; provided, however, that such awards may be modified or set aside or remanded, in whole or in part, only if the arbitrator was without, or exceeded, his or her jurisdiction; the award on its face is contrary to law and public policy; or was procured by fraud, collusion, or other similar and unlawful means; provided, further, that the provisions of this paragraph shall be the exclusive method for reviewing the decision of an arbitrator concerning a matter properly subject to the jurisdiction of the Board, notwithstanding any provisions of Chapter 44 of Title 16 of the District of Columbia Official Code;

(7) Conduct investigations, hear testimony, and take evidence under oath at hearings on any matter subject to its jurisdiction;

(8) Administer oaths or affirmations and through the power of subpoena, require the attendance of witnesses with any necessary records or other information which have a bearing on the dispute, without, however, abrogating rules and regulations abridging the confidentiality of personnel files as provided in subchapter XXXI of this chapter;

(9) Make decisions and take appropriate action on charges of failure to adopt, subscribe, or comply with the internal or national labor organization standards of conduct for labor organizations;

(10) Make recommendations concerning desirable revisions or amendments to the District government labor relations law;

(11) Adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its business and the carrying out of its powers and duties;

(12) The Board may designate a 3-member panel to hear any matter brought to it under this chapter. The decision of the 3-member panel shall be considered the final decision of the Board. An appeal from a decision of any 3-member panel may be taken in accordance with the provisions of §§ 1-617.02 and 1-617.13;

(13) Establish and maintain a list of qualified mediators, fact finders and arbitrators after consulting with employee organizations and management representatives, and appoint them;

(14) Retain, through the Director of the Office of Contracting and Procurement, independent legal counsel to assist in Board activities when the District government is a party to the Board’s proceedings or in any other situation as the Board deems appropriate;

(15) Develop a system for the collection, maintenance, and dissemination of labor-management relations information as appropriate to the needs of the District, labor organizations, and the public; and

(16) Seek appropriate judicial process to enforce its orders and otherwise carry out its authority under this chapter. In cases of contumacy by any party or other delay or impediment of any character, the Board may seek any and all such judicial process or relief as it deems necessary to enforce and otherwise carry out its powers, duties and authority under this chapter.

(17) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, all procurement authority shall be vested in the Office of Contracting and Procurement; provided, that the Mayor’s obligations pursuant to § 1-204.49, to provide financial review and approval of contracts is unaffected.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 502, 25 DCR 5740; Apr. 12, 1997, D.C. Law 11-259, § 304(a), 44 DCR 1423; Sept. 18, 1998, D.C. Law 12-151, § 2(a), 45 DCR 4043; Apr. 12, 2000. D.C. Law 13-91, § 103(f), 47 DCR 520; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 9(b), 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-605.2.

1973 Ed., § 1-335.2.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-636.02 and § 6-215.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-91, in subd. (6), inserted a comma following “or in part”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 substituted “notwithstanding any provisions of Chapter 44 of Title 16 of the District of Columbia Code” for “notwithstanding any provisions of the District of Columbia Uniform Arbitration Act (D.C. Official Code § 16-4301 to 16-4319)” in (6).


§ 1–605.03. Transition procedures.

(a) The property and facilities of the Board of Labor Relations, established pursuant to Commissioner’s Order 70-229, shall be transferred to the Public Employee Relations Board as provided in subchapter XXXVI of this chapter.

(b) The personnel and positions assigned to the Board of Labor Relations shall be transferred to the Public Employee Relations Board as provided in subchapter XXXVI of this chapter: Provided, however, that incumbents of positions considered surplus to the needs of the Public Employee Relations Board may be separated in accordance with the provisions of subchapter XXIV of this chapter.

(c) All cases pending before the Board of Labor Relations shall be transferred to the Public Employee Relations Board on the effective date of subchapters V and XVII of this chapter as prescribed by § 1-636.02(i). The Public Employee Relations Board, with respect to any such transferred case, shall take such action as could have been taken by the Board of Labor Relations pursuant to labor-management relations programs as they existed when the case was filed, including those programs referred to in § 1-632.07(a).


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 503, 25 DCR 5740; Aug. 7, 1980, D.C. Law 3-81, § 2(d), 27 DCR 2632.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-605.3.

1973 Ed., § 1-335.3.


§ 1–605.04. Publication of decisions.

The Board shall cause a copy of each order, decision, or opinion rendered by it to be published in the District of Columbia Register within 60 days of its issuance.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 504, 25 DCR 5740.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-605.4.

1973 Ed., § 1-335.4.

Cross References

Election campaigns, conflict of interest, disclosure, see § 1-1106.02.

Employee deferred compensation programs, collective bargaining agreements, review, see § 47-3601.

Merit system, abolishment of positions for fiscal year 2000, see § 1-624.08.

Merit system, educational service, rules and regulations, see § 1-608.01a.

Merit system, effective date provisions, see § 1-636.02.