The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 23, 2009
What's next with the Alameda County furlough lawsuits?

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Gavel.jpgFrom the anxious e-mails and phone calls we've received, it was probably a long weekend for some state workers who are dying to learn how Judge Frank Roesch rules since hearing arguments in four furlough lawsuits in Alameda Superior Court.

Click the following link to read how the judge might rule, and when.

Here's what could happen with the CCPOA case, which was based on alleged Labor Code violations:

  • Roesch could agree with CCPOA and end furloughs of those employees.
  • Roesch could side with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and allow the furlough program to continue as is.

The other three cases brought by CASE, UAPD and SEIU sought to overturn the policy based on department funding source. Roesch has three options with those:

  • Roesch could side entirely with the governor and the furlough program would remain as is.
  • Roesch could side with all four unions and declare the entire furlough program illegal.
  • Roesch could agree with parts of the union arguments and exempt employees at some departments or agencies, such as "especially special" organizations like CalPERS, CalSTRS or the California Earthquake Authority that receive no money from the general fund.

Regardless, the losing side(s) will appeal. Then the question becomes whether the judge will allow furloughs to continue during the appeal. And, as anyone who has followed other furlough lawsuits now on appeal has seen, a ruling from the higher court could take a year or more.

How long will it take for Roesch to decide? Great question. As we mentioned in part 4 of our report on the hearings, it could be several days or weeks.

Here's a guarantee: As soon as we hear, we'll let you know.

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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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