The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 7, 2009
Internal DOJ e-mail: Still no furlough for AG's workers

Chief Deputy Attorney General James Humes this morning sent this e-mail to all Department of Justice employees, explaining the DOJ's position on employee furloughs. After receiving it from a DOJ employee, we confirmed its authenticity with department Communications Director Scott Gerber.

>>> James Humes 4/7/2009 10:05 AM >>>

Colleagues: Many of you have been wondering whether DOJ employees will be
furloughed in April. Unfortunately, the answer is still uncertain because
things remain unresolved in the courts and the Legislature. But here's what
we know so far:

- Last Friday, the Superior Court finally entered a judgment in the lawsuit
filed by the Governor against the constitutional officers. Attorney General
Brown and the other constitutional officers will appeal this judgment in the
next couple of days. Filing the appeal will postpone the judgment's
effective date (meaning that no DOJ employee will be involuntarily
furloughed) unless the Governor obtains a special Court of Appeal order
requiring immediate implementation of the furloughs. Without such an order,
no one in the DOJ will be involuntarily furloughed and full pay checks will
be distributed at the end of the month.

- The Legislature has not yet ratified the SEIU contract. Until it does,
the terms of the proposed SEIU contract, which include a one-day-a-month
voluntary furlough, remain inapplicable. This means that SEIU employees
here in the DOJ will not be furloughed until the SEIU contract is ratified
or the Court of Appeal orders our employees to be furloughed.

- The Controller has stated that he cannot and will not reduce employees'
paychecks at the end of the month unless he is directed to do so (by court
order or by the Legislature's ratification of a bargaining contract) by the
middle of the month. Thus, unless the Court of Appeal orders furloughs to
be implemented or the Legislature ratifies the SEIU contract by April 15, no
DOJ employee will be furloughed in April and employees' will receive a full
paycheck at the end of the month.

Thank you again for your patience and positive attitudes as we continue to
resist involuntary furloughs. I know that the uncertainty surrounding these
furloughs is frustrating and distracting, but I will continue to pass on
relevant updates as we learn of them. Jim

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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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