The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 31, 2009
SEIU files another furlough lawsuit

Thumbnail image for Gavel.jpgService Employees International Union Local 1000 has filed its fifth furlough lawsuit, this one in San Francisco Superior Court.

The complaint, which you can read by clicking here, argues from several angles that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's furlough order is illegal.

We were struck by how some of the points raised in the lawsuit have been raised by users of this blog. Among the union's arguments:

  • Schwarzenegger misused his emergency declaration authority to order the furloughs: "Those powers are used arbitrarily and capricously when they undermine Legislative decision-making about political solutions to budget problems."
  • The budget impasse that prompted the emergency order is over, but the furlough order remains in effect.
  • The order violates the separation of powers laid out in the state constitution.
  • The furlough order violates employment agreements, breaking federal and state constitution provisions "that prohibit the impairment of contracts."
  • Furloughs are "wasteful mismanagement of state resources" that "achieve no substantial benefit to the general fund ..."

Local 1000 is seeking coverage of its litigation costs and "such other and further relief as the Court deems appropriate." A hearing date hasn't yet been set.


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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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