The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 17, 2011
Furlough case back in appellate court; ruling to follow

100602 yolo county gavel.jpgYour humble blogger was away from work the last few days, so we're just now catching up with a backlog of events and e-mails, including this week's oral arguments in SEIU Local 1000 v. Brown before San Francisco's 1st District Court of Appeal.

The court heard both sides and now has up to 90 days from Wednesday's hearing to render a decision. You can view the court's case docket here.

The case (formerly SEIU Local 1000 v. Schwarzenegger) continues debate over whether employees in so-called "special fund" departments were illegally furloughed. This May 27 item and its companion June 3 post can give you more context and court documents.

At stake: millions of dollars in wages lost to furloughs plus interest for tens of thousands of state employees in those special fund departments.

The Union of American Physicians and Dentists made a similar argument in another case, won in the lower court but then lost on appeal with a different panel of justices in the 1st District Court.

A third special funds case on appeal, California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment v. Brown, also is with the 1st District Court. There's no oral argument date set yet. Click here to see the court's calendar for that case.

The best that state workers can hope for at this point is conflicting appellate court decisions. If at least one of the 1st District Court panels upholds the lower court's ruling, the California Supreme Court would almost certainly have to specifically address the special funds argument that it avoided in the seminal PECG v. Schwarzenegger decision last October.

IMAGE: www.yolocourts.ca.gov

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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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