With an estimated $12 million at stake, Gov. Jerry Brown and unions representing California's state scientists and engineers will again debate whether the government owes back wages for wrongly furloughing a combined 13,000 employees.
Professional Engineers in California Government and California Association of Professional Scientists successfully argued last year that Brown in 2011 reduced their members' hours and wages two days longer than authorized by the Legislature.
The unions also persuaded Alameda Superior Court Judge Steven Brick that about 250 of their members shouldn't have been furloughed at all because state law protects their positions.
The Brown administration appealed Brick's ruling, saying that the governor had the authority to execute the furloughs as he did and that Brick had relied on bad evidence
Brown's appeal to the 1st District Court of Appeal put a hold on the Brick's back-pay order while the legal process plays out. The appellate court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 9 at 9 a.m.
The lawsuit concerns furloughs that started in February 2009 under former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and knocked about 70 work days off the state calendar through mid 2011.
Click here for more information about the lawsuit and Brown's appeal.
PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown delivers his "state of the state" speech to California legislators in Assembly chambers at the state Capitol in Sacramento on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua