The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 16, 2010
Minimum wage ruling expected today; hearing on other matters set for 11 a.m.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for marlette.jpgThe State Worker is heading to Sacramento Superior Court's Department 19 this morning to hear minimum wage litigation oral arguments set for 11 a.m. before Judge Patrick Marlette.

The debate won't be about whether Controller John Chiang is making a sound legal argument that he can't legally or physically withhold state workers' pay during the budget impasse. Attorneys for the Department of Personnel Administration and the controller have filed plenty of paper on that issue, and Marlette is apparently ready to publish a decision today about that matter.

Instead, attorneys this morning will argue two points: If Chiang loses, should Marlette directly order the controller to comply with the law and Schwarzenegger's minimum wage order? And should four unions be allowed to join Chiang in the minimum-wage legal battle?

On July 9 the Department of Personnel Administration filed this brief, asking the court to force Chiang to comply with the minimum wage order.The rationale, according to the filing:

100716 TRO section.JPG

Chiang responded on Tuesday with this opposition brief, which refutes the claim that DPA is likely to win the minimum wage case on the merits and dissects what the controller says are significant legal holes in the governor minimum wage instructions.

Marlette will also hear arguments over whether four unions should be allowed to join Chiang in fighting minimum wage. Professional Engineers in California Government, California Association of Professional Scientists, SEIU Local 1000 and California Correctional Peace Officers' Association have asked the court for permission to enter the court fight. For more about this issue, click here.

IMAGE: Judge Patrick Marlette / Bee file photo 2009, Brian Baer

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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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