The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 18, 2009
From the notebook: More about furlough lawsuits

notebook.jpgOur story in today's Bee looks at Thursday's decision by Alameda Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch that "self-directed furloughs" for state correctional officers violate the law.

As usual with these kinds of complicated stories, the dictates of time and space forced choices about what to leave in and what to take out. But State Worker blog users get those notes, quotes and observations from the notebook.

We made passing reference in today's report to federal furlough litigation filed by CCPOA this week. The class-action lawsuit argues that self-directed furloughs violate the Fair Labor Standards Act because:

  • Employees aren't paid for all work performed within the pay period.
  • Time worked on a furlough day isn't calculated toward overtime.
  • The state has failed to keep adequate payroll records.

You can read the 8-page court filing, courtesy of Courthouse News, by clicking here

Read more about the CalPERS furlough suit by clicking the following link

Today's story also references the tentative ruling against CalPERS handed down Thursday by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charlotte Woolard. We were busy with the larger furlough story, so Capitol Bureau copy editor Micaela Massimino pinch hit for us in with this quick post about the CalPERS case.

We're circling back now to give you the tentative ruling's language:

Set for hearing on Friday, December 18, 2009, line 15, PETITIONER BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC Motion For Peremptory Writ Of Mandate. Motion denied. The doctrine of exclusive concurrent jurisdiction not applicable. The Sacramento County and Alameda County cases involved different parties, and different allegations. Further, defendant did not raise the issue by filing a motion for stay or a demurrer/plea in abatement. Government Code sections 19851 and 19849 give the Executive broad authority to control the work week. No showing that the Governor's executive orders were ultra vires. The Governor acted reasonably in furloughing all employees to save funds and preserve parity. The DPA's decision not to exempt petitioner was also reasonable to preserve funds and maintain parity.

Click here to see it on the court's Web site.

And this link will download CalPERS CEO Anne Stausboll's Thursday e-mail to fund board members about the ruling.


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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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