MACo Expresses Concerns With Statute of Limitations Bill

MACo Policy Associate, Kevin Kinnally, testified in opposition to House Bill 852, “Courts – Action for Violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement or Breach of Duty of Fair Representation – Limitations Period,” before the House Appropriations Committee on February 21, 2017.

HB 852 alters the time limit in which a complainant must bring an action for injunctive relief or damages for a violation of a collective bargaining agreement or a breach of duty of fair representation of an employee of the State or a political subdivision. The action must be commenced within six months after the later of: (1) the date on which the claim accrued; or (2) the date on which the complainant knew or should reasonably have known of the breach.

The bill’s six-month requirement could help reduce cases brought against local governments based on the date on which the claim accrued. However, MACo is concerned that setting the same threshold to the date on which the complainant knew or should reasonably have known of the breach could create a more open-ended standard that could ultimately increase litigation over the current law.

From MACo testimony:

MACo recognizes that HB 852 is intended to create a definitive statute of limitations for collective bargaining agreement and breach of the duty of fair representation of governmental employee claims. Unfortunately, MACo is concerned that the practical effect of the bill would be to increase the time limit within which such claims can be brought.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.