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August 19, 2009
CalPERS sues over furloughs

CalPERS filed suit today over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's furlough program, saying its 2,000 employees shouldn't be subjected to the unpaid days off.

The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, says CalPERS employees shouldn't be subjected to furloughs because the savings don't help the general fund. The furloughs are "inhibiting our ability to provide services to our members and to meet our contractual responsibilities to local employers," CalPERS Board President Rob Feckner said in a press release.

He said state law doesn't allow the budget problems to "jeopardize the financial soundness of CalPERS or the benefits that we are obligated to pay retirees."

Most state workers are being forced to take three unpaid furlough days a month as the state tries to conserve cash. The state's constitutional officers have refused to impose furloughs on their employees, setting off a legal battle with Schwarzenegger. Several unions have sued as well, although Schwarzenegger has won all but one of those challenges.

Schwarzenegger's spokesman Aaron McLear said CalPERS "must figure out how to operate more efficiently," like other state agencies. He said it's irrelevant that CalPERS employees aren't paid from the general fund.

 

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