OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Management Services

Public Employees Relations Commission

What is the purpose of the commission?

The Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) is a quasi-judicial body that adjudicates labor and employment disputes between public employees (and job applicants) and governmental entities, including the state, counties, municipalities, school boards, and special taxing districts.

Who serves on the commission?

The commission is composed of a chair and two members appointed by the Governor for four-year terms, subject to Senate confirmation. The commission employs hearing officers who conduct hearings throughout the state on labor and employment disputes; the hearing officers must be licensed attorneys with more than five years' experience.

How does the commission resolve the controversies presented to it?

PERC is a quasi-judicial body. Hearing officers hold evidentiary hearings and issue recommendations to the commission, which issues a final order based on its review of the record to determine whether evidence supports the hearing officer's findings and if the law was applied correctly. Commission decisions can be appealed directly to the District Courts of Appeal.
US Census estimates show well over 800,000 public employees whose rights could potentially be affected by commission litigation, including firefighters, police and corrections officers, school teachers and support personnel, state troopers, toll collectors, and sanitation workers.

What kind of cases does the commission handle?

The commission handles two types of cases.
  • Employment Cases. PERC has jurisdiction over career service appeals in the State of Florida. There are state employees who have civil service privileges under the Florida constitution concerning discipline, such as discharge, demotion, and suspensions. They have the right to appeal these actions to the commission, which will appoint a hearing officer to hold an evidentiary hearing to determine if there was cause for the discipline and, in certain cases, whether the discipline should be mitigated. In addition, PERC exercises jurisdiction over other employment cases, including veterans preference appeals pursuant to Ch. 295, Florida Statutes; Drug-free Workplace Act appeals pursuant to s. 112.0455, Florida Statutes; age discrimination appeals pursuant to s. 112.044, Florida Statutes; Whistle-blower's Act appeals pursuant to s. 112.31895, Florida Statutes; and appeals regarding the termination or transfer of employees aged 65 or older pursuant to s. 110.124, Florida Statutes.
  • Labor Cases. The Florida constitution guarantees public employees the right to work regardless of membership or non-membership in any labor union or labor organization. It also gives public employees the right to collectively bargain, but prohibits strikes. The commission conducts formal evidentiary hearings and issues final orders to resolve labor disputes regarding bargaining unit composition/modification and alleged unfair labor practices arising from these constitutional mandates.

What are the commission's other responsibilities?

In addition to hearing employment and labor cases, the commission has an Elections Division that conducts elections when public employees express the desire to be represented by a union. As part of this process, the commission registers unions, qualifying them to pursue representing employees.
The commission also has an impasse resolution and mediation coordinator who oversees and orchestrates federally provided mediators and privately retained special magistrates that work to resolve impasses in labor negotiations.

What is the commission's caseload?

In Fiscal Year 2018-19, the commission had 847 case filings.

Does the commission process cases timely and how many cases are upheld on appeal?

In Fiscal Year 2018-19, 99.25% of the commission's employment and labor dispositions were closed within the statutory timeframe (105 days after filing in employment cases and 180 days after filing in labor cases). Of all appealed cases disposed of by the state appellate court, 99.5% were affirmed or the cases were dismissed/withdrawn.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
Publications, Public Employee Relations Commission.
Websites of Interest
Association of Labor Relations Agencies
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

  • Age Discrimination: s. 112.044, Florida Statutes.
  • Career Service System: Ch. 110 Part II, Florida Statutes.
  • Drug-Free Workplace Act: s. 112.0455, Florida Statutes.
  • Investigative Procedures: s. 112.31895, Florida Statutes.
  • Laws Relating to Veterans: Ch. 295, Florida Statutes.
  • Public Employees: Ch. 447 Part II, Florida Statutes.
  • State Employees-Suspensions, Dismissals, Reductions in Pay, Demotions, Layoffs, Transfers, and Grievances: s. 110.227, Florida Statutes.
  • Termination or Transfer of State Career Service System Employees Aged 65 or Older: s. 110.124, Florida Statutes.
  • Whistle-Blowers Act: s. 112.3187, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Public Employees Relations Commission, 850-488-8641
Election Contact: Eddie Johnson, 850-488-8641, ext. 1141
Impasse Contact: Jennifer Okwabi, 850-488-8641, ext. 1116