The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 29, 2008
Order in the court: Arguments heard in employee pay lawsuit

We hear from DPA's Lynelle Jolley that a federal judge considered two of three motions presented today regarding the executive order lawsuit between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state Controller John Chiang.

"The two motions he considered are whether the case should be sent back to state court, and whether it should be moved to the Northern district (from the Eastern district) if it remains in federal court," Jolley said in an e-mail to The Bee. The Northern district is in San Francisco. The Eastern district is in Sacramento.

The judge said he'll have "an expedited decision in about a week," Jolley reported. He didn't take up a motion to dismiss the case.

In case you're just back from camping in Antarctica, the lawsuit came from a dispute between Schwarzenegger and Chiang last summer over the controller's refusal to issue payroll checks that slashed state workers' pay to $6.55 per hour. Schwarzenegger sought the payroll reduction to conserve cash until lawmakers reached a budget deal.

Lawyers for the state employee unions, including the Service Employees International Union, California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association in August filed to move the lawsuit into federal court. DPA, representing Schwarzenegger's administration, wants to keep the matter in state court.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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